Thursday, December 15, 2011

Angels We Have Heard On High

Christmas seems to be the one time of year we can acknowledge the existence of angels without sounding like we belong in a looney bin. We sing of angels in our Christmas carols, make angels in the snow or top our trees with them... but what do we really know about them? When you think of an angel, what comes to mind? Some sort of glowing, blondish, feminine (yet oddly androgynous) figure (don't forget the wings), dressed in a flowing white frock & a gold sash? Or perhaps we think of them suspended in a starry winter sky, singing in perfect harmony (complete with cymbals, harps & maybe even a trumpet or two).

When Mary first saw Gabriel, what was her reaction? She must've been frightened. Why else would he have told her to "fear not"? There was an angel or two at Jesus' tomb- how did the guards or the women who arrived later respond? They were terrified. Again the angel(s) told them not to fear. I wonder, how would you or I respond if we saw an angel? Would we be all calm & chummy? Or would we wet ourselves & cower? These beings stand before God, they reflect His glory & they are His messengers to us. I find it odd that we should attribute such "fluffy" sentiments to them... but then, don't we do that with so many things related to God? We argue that God is love, God is "Daddy"... but Who is our God, really? And who are His angels? Who are we to claim that we know anything about Him and HIS world beyond the little He's revealed?

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