This Sunday is December 1 and we kick off our Christmas Series called “The Cast of Christmas” where we examine four key characters in the Christmas narrative: Gabriel, Joseph, Mary and Jesus.
Our first character study will be the angel Gabriel who was God’s messenger to Mary announcing that she would bear a most unique son, Jesus. Gabriel announced that Jesus would be virgin-born and would be the Savior of the world. The name Gabriel means “strength of God” and this particular angel has four named appearances in the Bible, twice in Daniel and twice in Luke.
What’s your take on angels? Do you believe in angels? Is your view of an angel like that of Clarence from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life? Does a belief in angels make any difference in our real world of traffic, business, relationships, schoolwork and stress?
I believe it does make a difference. The subject of angels moves us into another world. Just thinking about angels reminds us that there is another world in addition to the one that we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. And when you understand that angels are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who are inheriting salvation (Hebrews 1:14)” then it dawns on you just how many spiritual resources God has available for His people.
The questions are a plenty, but more than the questions is the yearning to substantiate God’s compassionate presence. This Sunday we will examine some of the ways angels serve God and you. I’ll even share a few “angel stories” that you are free to embrace, jettison, question or just put in your “I’ve got to think about that for awhile” box.
Jesus taught the existence, reality, and activity of angels. In the scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, the existence of angels is simply assumed. The Bible contains approximately 300 direct references to them. In 34 of 66 books of the Bible angels are mentioned.
Theologian Karl Barth wrote almost three hundred pages in his Church Dogmatics of angels, as they appear in the Bible. Barth said, “Where God is, there the angels of God are. Where there are no angels, there is no God.”
I think it will do all of us some good to take a look at the mystery, the ministry and the motivation of angels. Hope to see you Sunday for a great day of worship and fellowship.