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.

drafts2

drafts2 is about how I am composing, designing my writing and my readings. This blog is about and is my process. Evan Williams, one of Twitter’s co-founders has begun ‘Medium’ a blogging platform, where ‘collaboration’ is among writers ‘by letting them share posts privately before publication, in pursuit of suggestions or edits.’ I want to share drafts of my work publically and welcome all comments. Same idea basically; but different in process.

And so I begin with a hard piece to share. ‘Joey . 11. 11. 13’ was published on the Stewardship blog on http://www.stewardship.org.uk/smartweb/blog/blog/post/221 Rememberance day in the UK. Emotional to write, Daniel Jones at Stewardship helped me edit the version you see here below and at the Stewardship link. Beneath it is the original piece he edited. Different title, ‘prayerful remembrances.’Daniel did a sensitive job, a thought filled collobration, a close reading of writing.
Please comment on both pieces and how they read as a unit and as individual works. Don’t worry about what you say or think. It is only a draft, and therefore only the greatest import, that of words as action.

Joey. 11.11.13

My son passed away on a military base in 1996. He was 22.

It was a car accident, early in the morning at 5am, just as he was called up for formation.

We got the call early. He probably was rushing; driving too fast. He always drove too fast. It was Mother’s Day weekend; a beautiful spring day.

In the United States, when a member of the military passes away, two serving officers are dispatched to tell the soldier’s family the news in person – that same day. We had already had the phone call. But I said that already, didn’t I?

They come to your home to tell you; to stand with you in your shock, and then your grief.

They arrive in full uniform, official looking, straight and to the point, viewers into your eyes. Sorry for your loss is their opening words. The rest blurs.

They stand stiff, straight like wooden boards in their well pressed uniforms. They come because they want you to know: we remember you at this time.

Seventeen years have passed and I still get teary about that visit.

These two officers did not know Joey (though we would meet his soldier friends later). They were sent as symbols, remembrances being mindful of us, our now broken family, remembering us.

And what is etched most in my memory about their visit?

It was, and still is, their presence. They didn’t have to say anything.

They were there.

Fully present.

There.

I needed those two service people that day. Their youth reminded me of what was lost. Their commitment and purpose reminds me of why Joey was serving. Remembrances.

My tears, our sorrows, were not missed or forgotten.

Remember.

Today and in the days to come, stand with our soldiers, someone’s son and daughter. Stand with their families, those who still have and those who have lost.

Pray for them. Speak to God for them. He hears your prayers, and somehow our prayers work with His will. Don’t ask how; I don’t know. I do know He remembers. He doesn’t forget a one. He remembered us that day.

Remember with Him in prayer.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good who have been called according to his purpose.

prayerful remembrances, 11 November 2013My son passed away on a military base in 1996. He was 22. It was a motorised accident that occurred at 5am when he was called up for formation. We got the call early. He probably was rushing; driving too fast. He always drove too fast. It was Mother’s Day weekend. A beautiful spring day.
In the States, when a member of the military passes away, they send two service officers in military uniforms to tell the family the news in person. They come the same day you get the news. We already had the phone call. But I said that already, didn’t I?

They come to your home to tell you, to stand with you. They stand stiff and straight as wooden broads in their well pressed uniforms. They come because they want you to know: we remember you at this time. Seventeen years passed and I still get teary about their visit. They did not know Joey. We would meet his fellow soldiers later. They were sent as symbols, remembrances being mindful of me, remembering me. My tears, our sorrows, were not missed or forgotten.

They are in full uniform; official; to the point; straight on; viewers into your eyes: Sorry for your lost is their opening words. The rest blurs.

What do I recall? It was and is their presences, their physical beings I remembered. They didn’t have to say anything; they were there. Fully present; there.

I needed those two service people that day. Their youth reminded me of what was lost. Their commitment and purpose reminds me of why Joey was serving. Remembrances.

Stand with our soldiers, someone’s son and daughter, today and the coming days. How should you speak to, for them? Pray for them. Speak to God for them. The first thing, everyday from now till Remembrance Sunday 9 November 2014. Then do it again till Remembrance Sunday 8 November 2015. God hears prayers, and somehow our prayers works with His will. Don’t ask how; I don’t know. I do know He remembers. He doesn’t forget a one. Remember with Him in prayer.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good who have been called according to his purpose.

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/how-to-give/?gclid=CNOZ_5b01LoCFafMtAodS1AAkA