Recognizing Angels

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                 December 8, 2014

                                               

Angels are well-liked. Many people see them as cuddly little bald-headed boys who fly around and sprinkle glitter. They’ve been portrayed by attractive Hollywood actresses who talk in sweet tones and sing with…okay, I’ll say it…angelic voices.

But in everyday life how do we know it’s an angel that we’re seeing or talking to. In the Bible there were very clear angelic conversations between the angel Gabriel and Zechariah (Luke 1) and also with Mary. Zechariah becomes speechless as a result of the encounter, and his faithless questions. After Jesus’ resurrection there is an angelic encounter at the tomb.

The other side of the situation, however, is Hebrews 13:2- “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

Angels could be bald-headed or have a full head of red hair. They could be thought to be Pakistani or Irish, young or old, dressed well or shabby in appearance. The disturbing thing about the verse in Hebrews is that we may have shown hospitality to dozens of angels and not be aware of it until some time in the future or next life…or we may have refused angels and not thought a thing about it.

Perhaps the point of that verse in Hebrews 13 is to say that our attitude towards people, and behavior towards people, should have a consistency to it. The recent situations across our nation have shown that we have certain biases towards those who are not like us. Years ago a church growth consultant advocated for churches to be homogenous. In other words attract more people that are cookie-cutter images of the people who are already there. Diversity was discouraged. I wonder how many angelic visitations were met with cold shoulders and closed lips?

Angelic appointments are not like my annual physical with my doctor that I can schedule a couple of months ahead of time. When I make that appointment it usually includes a couple of “No, that time doesn’t work” answers before finding a suitable time that works. Angelic visits are according to God’s planning, and, hard as it is for me to believe, God doesn’t compare calendars with me before sending one of his messengers.

So how do we recognize angels? With great difficulty! Oddly enough, that may be the point, for God does not want us to treat anyone less than we would treat Gabriel. What a concept to live life by! To see each person we meet and relate to as quite possibly being one of the angelic beings!

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Christmas, Jesus, Pastor, Story, The Church, Uncategorized

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