Christmas angels

No Comments

Written by ANDRÉE SEU

December 20, 2011, 8:23 AM

We trot out angels every Christmas, but they are around all the time. You may only spot one red-winged blackbird in the cattails in your hasty walk past the pond, but the bushes are teaming with the ones you don’t see.

It is not only that there was a high level of angelic activity around the birth of Christ (which you would expect)—Gabriel’s assignment to Zechariah, and then Mary; the hosts of angels sent to shepherds later; the messenger who told Joseph in a dream not to fear to take Mary for his wife; the angel who warned him to go to Egypt to escape Herod—but they are constantly around us doing jobs for us:

“Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)

They have one-on-one assignments to children:

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).

They are dispatched to check out how serious the spiritual condition of a nation is:

“These are they whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth” (Zechariah 1:10).

The angels have been known to make incognito earthly appearances, and we are told that it behooves us to always be kind to people because we never know when we might be serving one of those glorious creatures in the humble guise of a homeless person or stranded motorist:

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2).

But of what practical relevance are angels for you, beside the fact that you have one, are served by them, and might run into one dressed as a human? The answer is that it is always good to know what reality is; we need no better reason than that. It is good that we know that the invisible dimension—in your own kitchen and living room and workplace and the highway where you drive—is teaming with both angels and demons. To not be aware of that is to not know, on the one hand, what we are up against (demons), and on the other hand what resources there are for our succor (angels).

The Christmas angels were not boxed up and stored on the shelf with the tree ornaments after Jesus was born.