St. Michael

A Lesson for today from Saint Michael

Do You Believe In Angels?

Angels are essentially "Messengers of God", the Greek word "Angelos" means "Messenger". As God's messengers, Angels live continually in the presence of God and therefore reflect His glory. Job tells us that Angels were there as witnesses of creation and, as God made all that is, they shouted for joy.

I chose the picture of the Angel above, out of all the typical angelic pictures for two reasons. Firstly, when people encounter angels their first reaction is generally one of fear: Angels are awesome creatures. Secondly, in the Old Testament, there are several references to Angels acting as warriors. In Numbers the disobedient prophet Balaam encounters God's Angel barring his way with a drawn sword. In Joshua, Joshua meets the Angel sent by God to lead His army against Jericho, and in 2 Kings we find one Angel slaughtering 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in a night in order to deliver Jerusalem.

Not all Angels are given such commissions, some are sent with messages of good news. It was an Angel who appeared to Gideon and called him to deliver the Israelites from under the Midianites. The same Angel also went to Manoah and his wife to tell them they were about to have a son, Samson. In the New Testament we find Gabriel appearing to both Elizabeth and Mary to tell them that God's time had come and they would give birth to John the Baptist and Jesus respectively.

Not all Angels appear in their full glory. I like this picture of the Angels bringing the news of Isaac's birth to Abraham and Sarah, because it is difficult to tell who the Angels are, although I suspect that the artist has dressed Abraham and Sarah in purple and the Angels are the ones in white. If you read the story of Abraham, whilst he recognised the Angels there is also an ordinariness about the whole event, and Hebrews tells us that by offering hospitality to strangers, some have entertained angels without realising it.

Angels are also "Ministering Spirits" whom God sends to serve those who serve Him. The supreme example of this can be found when God sent His Angel to comfort Jesus as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus tells us that children have "Guardian Angels" who continually behold the face of God. How many children today need to know that they have an angel watching over them? Revelation also tells us that churches have "Guardian Angels". The letters to the "Seven Churches" are written first of all to the Angels of those churches and not to the churches themselves. I suspect that this is because, as well as our responsibility to walk with God and grow His church, our Guardian Angels also have a responsibility to protect us in the heavenly realms, and that this responsibility is tied to their duties alongside Jesus when He returns to gather in the harvest.

Thank you Father, for the beautiful gift of Angels.

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