Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Reflections 2 - Angels

Angels are all over the place.

A chief one - Gabriel - appears by standing right by the altar of incense and encounters Zacharias with the news that his elderly wife, Elizabeth, is going to get pregnant....and they are going to have a wild and happy time. (Loose translation of Luke 1:14-17!!)

Six months into that, God dispatches Gabriel again to tell unmarried Mary that she is going to bear a child that will radically change the world. Gabriel speaks faith to her and then leaves.

In it all there is a great release of the Holy Spirit that goes "bless you's" and cries of excitement and worship begin to punctuate the air.

Not everyone got excited.

Joseph, Mary's promised one, found the excitement and angel stuff a bit too hard to bear, and seeking a more controlled life, decided to make a clean sweep of it all. (Matthew 1:19-21)

Time for another angelic appearance, this time to Joseph in a dream, assuring him that all was really under divine control and even giving him the name of the child: Jesus.

When the baby was angel appeared to shepherds telling them of the birth and its meaning. And that annoncement was simply too much...suddenly the curtains of heaven rolled back and the first Hallelujah Chorus in a public place occurred. It filled the shepherds with such abandoned joy that their normal amble became a scramble as they ran in a dark night to find the child.

There is a lot of excitement still in God's presence....Hebrews 12:22.

Angels...are simply servants, messengers, worshippers...people helpers (Hebrews 1:14). And there are lots of them. And they are still at work (I wonder if some of them joined in with songsters at Macy's and in the malls this Christmas. Wouldn't surprise me at all.) They like to celebrate, can talk and sing, and always focus us on the purposes and nature of God.

Angels keep appearing all through the New Testament...and wow, look at what they are doing at the end of all things. (See Revelation)

So, this Christmas...keep your heart open to a God who has infinite ways of invading our space, and lifting our hearts. Remember, that when you are following the prompts of the Spirit of God, you just might stumble into "entertaining angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2)

Hark...the angels are still singing.

Merry Christmas!

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