Angels are messengers from God.
They are – or at least one is – busy in the story of Christ’s birth as recorded in the gospel of Luke.
The angel Gabriel appears and tells Zechariah his wife Elizabeth will have a son whom they will name John. Never mind that they are both “getting on in years.” After questioning the angel, Zechariah is struck speechless until after the boy is born. (Luke 1:20, 64) When she determines she is pregnant, Elizabeth seems to simply wonder and be grateful. (Luke 1:25)
God sends Gabriel to visit a rather young woman with the (good) news that she will bear a child who will be called “the Son of the Most High.” (Luke 1:31-32) Mary also questions the angel. Does she ponder Gabriel’s reply at all? For a moment, an hour, longer?
Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Luke 1: 38a NRSV
Nine months later an angel of the Lord visited shepherds to tell of the Messiah’s birth. The shepherds, with little hesitation, decide to go and see what has taken place. (Luke 2:15)
Quite honestly, if an angel visited me with that kind of news my first response is likely to be disbelief. Frankly, if an angel of the sort pictured here visited me I’d probably pass out.
But what of other kinds of angels, the ones with human faces? Like the pastor who sent me a note wondering if I’d ever consider seminary. Like the doctor who called a friend to see if they would adopt another child. Like foster parents who open their home with love and compassion. Like seniors who spend time at an elementary school listening to children read. Like the couple who trained their dog to do pet therapy and now all three visit a nursing home every Tuesday afternoon. Like the harpist who plays at a Hospice home. Like ….
Tell me of an angel you’ve met!