If you read through the accounts of the birth of Christ as it is found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, you will find there is a lot of talk about angels.
When he is serving as a priest in the temple, an angel appears to Zechariah. The angel announcing to him that his wife Elizabeth will bear a son and he is to be called, “John,” who, of course, was John the Baptist, the one who was to prepare the way for Christ.
Later an angel appears to Mary and announces to her she is going to bear a son and he is to be called, “Jesus.”
Still later, an angel appears to Joseph to tell him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife and that the child she is bearing is “of the Holy Spirit.”
On the night of Jesus’ birth, we’re told that a whole multitude of angels appeared to the shepherds out in the fields singing, “Glory to God in the highest….”
Fortunately, the prominence of angels in our celebration of Christmas today has not been lost. Often, when you look at nativity scenes in peoples’ homes you will see an angel hovering over the creche’. Last week, after my daughter put up her Christmas tree, the whole family watched with anticipation as she put the angel up on the top of it. This Sunday, two of the hymns we will sing in the Chapel and Traditional Services will be hymns about angels.
When the Bible speaks of angels, it is referring to “God’s Messengers.” Sometimes these are human messengers; sometimes they are divine messengers, but in virtually every case they are spiritual beings who carry a word that God wants shared.
The reason I bring this up is because I have watched over the last few weeks as a number of the families in our church have faced times of crisis. In some cases, it has been the result of the death of a loved one. In some, it has involved a hospital stay. In other cases it has been worry over a child or a parent. The reasons vary.
However, in almost every case, I have witnessed the appearance of an angel. Of course, the angels I’m referring to are the human ones. I have seen these angels make food for families during peoples’ time of sorrow. I have seen these angels stop by the hospital, or call to check on someone with a physical challenge. I have watched them counsel those who were searching for answers. In a case or two, I have even had an angel come alongside me and offer me help and encouragement.
During this season of the year as we find hope and peace in knowing that God comes to us as a babe born in the humble surroundings of a manger stall, perhaps one of the ways we can let the story of the birth of Christ challenge us is to think about how God wants to use us to share the message of His good news with others.
It only takes an open heart, a willing spirit, a commitment to let God’s love flow through you and to be available to be used in the way God wants to use you. So, be an angel, won’t you?
Yours in Christ,