Apparently, these advent posts (which were supposed to be a Sunday thing) are more of a Sunday or Monday thing. Alas, it turns out that if it comes down to taking a nap or working on blog posts, I’ll take a nap. What can I say.
Anyway, the second week of advent has begun! Last week was about hope and the prophets, and this week is about peace and angels.
Angels are the subject of much interest; most humans find these spiritual beings to be unendingly curious and fascinating. In Hebrew, they are mal’ak; in Greek, they are aggelos. Both words mean messenger.
You are angel, a servant of God, a servant of the Almighty. You were created by the Almighty, and your home is at His throne in heaven. You worship Him and His bidding, whatever it may be, without hesitation or question. In fact, the idea of questioning the Almighty never entered your mind until that fateful day when Lucifer and his followers rebelled and were thrown from heaven (something more on that later).
You watched the Almighty speak light into existence. You saw Him craft the earth. You could see the special interest He showed in that last creation, the one He called Man. And you saw Man fall. You heard the command from the Almighty’s lips for one your brothers, one of the cherubim, to stand guard over the Garden of Eden.
You were there when the Almighty sent two of your brothers to Sodom and Gomorrah. You were there when the angel of death went out from the throne room to strike Egypt. You were there when a coal was given to Isaiah to purify his lips so that he could speak for the Almighty. You were there when orders went out for Gabriel to appear to Daniel, and you were there when Michael was sent to help fight the kings of Persia.
You’ve seen the history of the world unfold within the palm of the Almighty’s hand. His plan is so deep in the story of earth that you can’t even see all of it. You know it’s a war, this fight that persists between Lucifer and the Almighty; you’ve fought in it. But you can hardly believe that Lucifer actually thinks he can win because he is so largely beside the point, a dim spark next to the inferno of power and glory and God that is the Almighty.
You remember those first words spoken about the Son. “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” As the centuries went by and prophets were called and served and died for the Almighty, more words about the Son, your Lord and King, were spoken. And you worshipped the Almighty, and you waited.
And then the fullness of time came.
You were face down before the throne, telling of the wonders of the Almighty, when Gabriel was sent to a particular man named Zechariah who had married a daughter of Aaron. And shortly thereafter, Gabriel was sent out again, this time to that special girl Mary, whom the Almighty favored. And then another of your brothers was sent to Mary’s betrothed, Joseph.
Now, mere months later, it’s come to the birth of Jesus. You’re waiting with a host of heaven to deliver a message to a group of shepherds who are keeping watch over their flocks by night. The message is about the Son of the Almighty, the King now wrapped in swaddling clothes, and of the peace He gives to those with whom He is pleased.
Peace and angels.
It seems like an unlikely combination. If it weren’t for this time of year, I doubt that we’d ever put the two together, but I do believe they belong together in a way. The peace of God doesn’t mean that there is no strife and suffering. The peace of God means that there is supernatural tranquility, fullness, hope, and even joy in the midst of strife and suffering. This kind of peace comes from a large view of God, a deep understanding of Him. Oftentimes, we humans question God and His plans and His words; we don’t understand all that He Is. I think angels get it better than we do. I can’t say that they fully understand God (I doubt they do), but I can say that they worship God as God.
This week, I encourage you study and reflect on the Almighty because I believe that true peace follows the ardent pursuit of God.
Some passages to look at are: Job 36:26-33, Job 37:22-24, Job 38-41, Psalm 20:7-8, Psalm 33:9, Luke 1:5-25, Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-24 (the O.T. passages are for study and reflection on God, and the N.T. passages are the appearances of angels before Christ was born. Again, this list is not exhaustive.).
Let’s throw a garland adorned bookend on this post.
I hope that this has been helpful as we continue with advent.