angels2

these two angel ‘drafts’ are, in my quite different. They are part of the Advent, wonder series. We published on the stewardship blog http://www.stewardship.org.uk/blog/blog the second one. Please comment-which one works for you? Cheers

Angels’ adoration

The word ‘angel’ in the Greek means ‘messenger’ and whenever angels appear we usually expect them to fulfil this purpose as messengers of God. One of the subtle wonders of Advent is that this is not their only role in the narrative, neither is it their primary role.
One Angel visits the shepherds and announces, “A Saviour has just been born in David’s town, a Saviour who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” This sparks a chain reaction: the shepherds run immediately to Bethlehem, see the baby and it is they who deliver the message of the Messiah’s birth to everyone they meet. So, if the shepherds are the messengers, what is the primary role of angels in the Advent story? Wikipedia describes the angels of the Nativity as ‘messengers’ and shepherds as those who ‘adore.’ It is in fact the reverse. The messenger job belongs to the shepherds in the field. So what is the angels’ role?
Adoration. Adoration of the message: the good news that the Saviour is born. They adore the gospel, the Word made flesh. This is what they long to see and sing of. Let’s look at their song:
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” Luke 2, 13-14 NIV
It is a simple chorus, a few words. But not a few raise their voices, ‘a great company’ appear and sing.
Picture a clear night; the shepherds are together in a field. One angel appears, then more angels, too numerous to count. They need space, lots of space to arrive in what had to be glorious light. Picture this great angelic choir singing in adoration and glory to God for the Incarnation, the Word coming to earth in the form of a baby. 1Peter1:12 describes the longing of angels to ‘stoop and look into these things’ (Weymouth New Testament). These ‘things’ are the gospel, the words of the prophets now made flesh as a baby and later in the flesh of a crucified Saviour.
‘Stoop’ is what the angelic choir does in Luke chapter 2: angels come from the highest heaven, to an earth’s manger to see a child in swaddling clothes born. ‘Stoop’ describes Jesus’ journey from heaven to earth. God’s message stoops to an animal shed as it enters our world. Psalm 18:36 states that God ‘stoops down to make us great.’ God, as a loving parent, stoops into our lives. He places his gift in the mangers of our hearts. This is God’s plan: to make us great through belief in the gift of Jesus, His son. It is a gift for all. Angels sing their adoration to the people who are lowest on the social ladder, shepherds, because that is the message; a Saviour born for all; the highest has come to seek and save His lost. Angels adore this message, this indescribable gift.
How will you adore Him?

Advent wonder, published post follows:

angels: abundant in worship

The word ‘angel’ in the Greek means ‘messenger’ and whenever angels appear we usually expect them to fulfil this purpose as messengers of God. One of the subtle wonders of Advent is that this is not their only role in the narrative, neither is it their primary role.
One Angel visits the shepherds and announces, “A Saviour has just been born in David’s town, a Saviour who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” This sparks a chain reaction: the shepherds run immediately to Bethlehem, see the baby and it is they who deliver the message of the Messiah’s birth to everyone they meet. So, if the shepherds are the messengers, what is the primary role of angels in the Advent story? Wikipedia describes the angels of the Nativity as ‘messengers’ and shepherds as those who ‘adore.’ It is in fact the reverse. The messenger job belongs to the shepherds in the field. So what is the angels’ role?
Adoration. Adoration of the Word made flesh; the good news that the Saviour is born. This is what they long to see and sing of. Let’s look at their song:
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” Luke 2, 13-14 NIV
It is a simple chorus, a few words. But not just a few raise their voices: ‘a great company’ appear and sing. They are united, generous and abundant in their adoration and worship.
________________________________________
In your journal…
In his essay, This is Water, David Foster Wallace says that “There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”
Where do you invest the best of your energy and adoration? If we’re going to think about what it means to be generous, we have to look at where we already devote our resources. Write a paragraph answering the question: what am I worshipping today? Consider whether you need to refocus your priorities with a more generous lens.

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