24 December 2010

The Problem with Angels

You know the problem with angels? They are scary. Really. They are.

First off I think they must be huge. They seem to fill spaces and hover and, if they want to, their voices can BOOM in such a way that would just blow you outta the water.

Now when we look at them we think they are lovely guardians and good to top the Christmas tree, helpful and have nice wings. But every time the angels talked to anyone, they seemed to start with, "DON'T BE AFRAID!" Really. They said that to Zechariah and then to Mary . . . .

Angels are mentioned over 300 times in 34 books of the Bible. They mostly only have the world's attention at Christmas though, when white bed sheets are in great demand and wings need to be shaped and fixed onto fidgety kids. I reckon duct tape and #8 wire come in handy then.

Some people joke and say you must never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.
I say we shouldn't make angels out to be more than they are in God's creation. Angels are popular as people seek a spirituality with which they can be comfortable. Fact is they are created beings, spiritual in nature who are servants to God.

Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation. Hebrews 1:14
They are not at my beck and call and do not perform according to my dictates. Angels are angels, intimidating messengers of God who often left people in uncomfortable situations, favoured by God, but uncomfortable all the same.

Jesus on the other hand, arrived at the end of about 40 weeks, the last of which would have been on a donkey. He didn't have to shout, "DON'T BE AFRAID!" because he was a baby.
He may have shouted, probably did make a certain amount of noise, but nobody would have been scared of Him. He was a baby. He had toes and fingers, elbows, knee caps and saliva glands. He would have had some sort of nappy system so His mum could manage His output.

He was later a teenager and possibly enjoyed a camel race or teased his mum. His friends might have given him a nickname or told him to man-up when it was his turn to bat.

Sometimes we minimize Jesus' humanity, suggesting that what He did was easy cause He was God. How does that make things easier for us; by lowering the standard? We distance Him somehow from our everyday existence, when His very incarnation was to bridge that gap.
Incarnation: The incarnation refers literally to the in-fleshing of the eternal Son of God—Jesus becoming a human being. A helpful way to remember the key aspects of the incarnation is John 1:14: “The Word became flesh.”
If He was not fully human He would not have been qualified for the role He took on, for the Cross. Jesus came to live, to be amongst us, to understand what it was like to be human, to talk with us in a way that facilitated conversation without having everybody scared like they were of the angels.

When God sent angels they were His messengers. When God sent Jesus, He sent part of Himself, He sent His Son.

He didn't deliver a message like the angels did. He was delivered as a baby in a manger, to man the cross.

The message Jesus delivered was when He went back to His Father and said, "I did it. I did what you asked, what was necessary. Now you can receive my brothers and sisters because the unpeace issue is resolved. I've reconciled the family and we should celebrate."

1 comment:

Woven and Spun said...

Beautifully written Jill. I like it a lot.
May you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year with just the right amount of time around wonderful people and just enough time to yourself.
Love you x