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Encouragement from Trueman

Angels We Have Heard on High

Posted by Trueman Hight on

Ever wonder just what angels really look like? I do. As I read the Christmas Story in Luke 2:8-14:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

I thought about angelic appearances at Sodom and Gomorrah, at the ford of the Jabbok River where Jacob wrestled with an angel of God, and in Psalms where it says "men ate angels' food." Angels helped Jesus after his wilderness temptation. Revelation mentions angels more than twenty times. Then, I began to think of angelic appearances to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks.

Most of our images of angels come from Hollywood, beautiful with fluttering wings, mysterious words, or even looking like ordinary people as in the movie It's a Wonderful Life, where the angel has to earn his wings. The Bible tells us that when angels show up they are dazzling, bright, and shining, and arrive with a specific message.

Many angels have specific names as the Angel Gabriel who appeared to Mary to announce that the Holy Spirit will overshadow her and she will give birth to a child to be named Jesus. Walt Whitman wrote about "America's teeming intricate whirl." That is, that we in America pride ourselves too much on being busy and cramming our time with stuff. In the whirlwind of Christmas, exhausting in its hectic pace, it would do us good to pause, to hear the rush of angel's wings, and to hear God's message as announced afresh: Christ the Savior has come! Nothing is impossible with God. My prayer is that we can slow down this Christmas, recapture the miracle, the mystery, and the majesty of Christmas. If we do, we're bound to respond like Mary did,

And Mary said, 'My soul doth magnify the Lord'” - Luke 1:46