Angels in Advent - Time to reflect and Prepare

Angels in Advent
At this time of preparation, we remember the Christmas story from the very beginning. 

Who told Mary that she was going to have a baby?

Who told Joseph?

Yes Angels.

They were there to prepare them for the most amazing extra-ordinary event the conception and birth of God’s Son. 

At this time of preparation, we remember the Angel that delivered the message of God’s son to Mary and Joseph. 

At Christmas time more than at any other time of year we think about Angels, we have them as decorations, as the tree topper, we coo at the little ones dressed up as them in their nativity play. 

I would like to look more closely at all the Angels mentioned in the bible, to help us to understand what they do? Because this was not the first time they are mentioned in the bible…

Angels are God’s messengers from heaven.  They can look like ordinary people. They can be dressed in white, and shine.  Sometimes you know you’ve been visited and at other times you don’t.

All through the bible angels are mentioned in fact in the Old Testament they are called mal’akh in the New Testament that are referred to as angelos both have the same root meaning: ‘Messenger’.   They are messengers from God, to people.  To us. 

What do angels do?

Simply they do what God wants them to do.

They appear when people need help, when they need to be guided, when people need protection, they proclaim God’s word, they are guardians of God’s people.

Quite a task.

Angels are not people who have died. Angels have never lived but are spiritual beings that come from heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:40-41’There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendour of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendour of earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendour, the moon another and the stars another, and star differs from star in splendour.’  

When people are in need and Angels appear sometimes the person or people they appear to do not even realise they are in the presence of Angels.

As with Lot when two Angels appear in Sodom in Genesis 19 1-2 Lot welcomes them with the traditional hospitality, it seems like he is totally unaware that they are not men.  Before Samson was born, his father was visited by an Angel and didn’t recognise it (Judges 13:16) ‘…Manoah did not realize that it was the angel of the Lord.’

In Hebrews 13:2 NIV it states: Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Angels are mentioned throughout the bible from Genesis to Revelation but we have to be careful that we don’t get distracted by the Angel itself and miss out on the message.  This is why God often sends ordinary angels so that we don’t get distracted by the Glory of the Angel, but listen and hear the message that they bring.

A time of Quiet

At the time of reflection and preparation make yourself still, take time out from the business, clear your mind, like a rewinding old fashioned video rewind your life, then start to remember…

I wonder have you ever encountered an Angel? 

At times of great joy;
Who was there with you?

At important times of change;
Who was there with you?

At times of sadness;
Who was there with you?

Were there Angels present?
What did they look like?

What message did they bring to You?

When you have finished end with a prayer for all the times of sadness, for all the times of change, for all the times of joy and for all the people and Angels that surrounded you.
Amen.


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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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