Sunday, September 29, 2013

The comfort of angels

Window - St. Michale and All Angels - Chemainus B.C.
St. Michael and All Angels Church - Chemainus B.C.
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Revelation 12:1-17

TO CHEW ON: "And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer." Revelation 12:7-8

Angels are a fascinating study. They're mentioned often in the Bible. From those mentions we can pick up facts about them. (The below is compiled from the section on angels in Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology pages 397-405.)

Angels (also called "sons of God" - Job 1:6; "holy ones" - Psalm 89:5,7; "spirits" - Hebrews 1:14; "watchers" - Daniel 4:13, 17; "thrones," "dominions," "principalities," and "authorities" - Colossians 1;16) are created beings - Nehemiah 9:6. Three types of angels are referred to specifically in the Bible: Cherubim, Seraphim and Living Creatures. Scripture indicates there is rank and order among angels. Daniel calls Michael (the angel in today's reading) "one of the chief princes" - Daniel 10:13. Though only two angels are mentioned by name in the Bible (Michael and Gabriel) Scripture tells us there are multitudes - Deuteronomy 33:2, Psalm 68:17. Angels have great power that is used to battle evil demonic forces - Daniel 10:13; Revelation 12:7-8.

We can't help but feel encouraged as we view the role of angels in the plans of God.
1. They show the greatness of God's love and plan for us humans. For example, though many angels sinned, we never read that any repent (2 Peter 2:4). In fact, someday God will give us authority over angels to judge them (1 Corinthians 6:13).

2. They remind us that the unseen world is real. In this regard, I love Bible stories that tell of people's eyes being opened to that reality (like Elisha's servant was in 2 Kings 6:17).

3. They are examples to us of obedience (Jesus prayed "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" - Matthew 6:10) and worship (note the Seraphim worshiping God in Isaiah 6:3).

4. Angels carry out some of God's plans by:
  • bringing messages to people - Luke 1:11-19.
  • carrying out some of God's judgments - 2 Samuel 24:16-17.
  • patrolling the earth as God's representatives - Zechariah 10:11.
  • warring against demonic forces - our focus verse today  as well as Daniel 10:13.

What a comfort to know there is a parallel reality operating and fulfilling God's plans all around us!

Dear God, thank You that Your creation includes angels. I would love for my eyes to be opened to their activity around me. As I observe them in the Bible, I realize again how truly great and worship-worthy You are. Amen.

MORE: The Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels

Today is the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels. The liturgy for today begins with this collect:
"Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

A year ago on holiday we visited a Church named Saint Michael and All Angels. It's the Anglican church our friends in Chemainus B.C. attend Here is a collage of photos from that beautiful building.

St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Churcn - Chemainus B.C.

 St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church, Chemainus B.C. 
(You've got to love a church where the fig tree on the grounds is healthy and full of figs!)

Bible Drive-Thru

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for that!! I just posted it to Michael ( Saint, Rector ) and I'm sure he'll be thrilled.



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