Thursday, September 30, 2010
Angels and Messengers
Christians have given angels to the world (even more so than Christmas). They have become folklore and myth more so than religious figure or Biblical being. We have whole books that purport to explain them, predict them, and experience them. We have movies that offer the sweet and inspirational ideal, the comedic and odd view, and the dark and brooding version of these beings. It is not so much important to us what Scripture does or does not say. What we think and feel has won the battle for these spiritual beings.
The one thing that Scripture does make clear to us is not enough to satisfy us. Angels do God's bidding. It is as simple as that. Whether the big job of a Gabriel who speaks with Mary or the little glimpses of angels whom the Lord has given charge over us to guard us day and night, angels serve the Lord. The other thing that we work so hard to unpack and have only made more confused is that they serve the Lord by extending His care to us. I must confess that I do not want to know all that much about angels. My curiosity has been satisfied in knowing that they work for God on our behalf. That is enough for me.
So all I know about angels is made into prayer form by Luther: Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen. That is enough to know. As God has placed people in my life for my care and protection, as God has given me His Word and Sacraments to convey Himself and all His gifts and graces to me, so has God granted me the protection of the angels against the evil foe. They may look sweet but they must be able to handle themselves against the enemy or this petition would be a joke. It is not. All I need to know of them is that they serve the Lord and work on my behalf. So I say, Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen. But if you are not satisfied and are determined to know more, HT to Paul McCain for providing this little catechism on angels by Dr. Al Barry.