BridgeView United Methodist Church

At Christmas time we see angels everywhere. Not literally, of course, but on the tops of Christmas trees, in the lights on your home and we sing about them in Christmas carols. Do you believe in angels? Many people find it hard in 2006 to believe in angels and you can't blame them. I mean, have you ever seen an angel? I haven't.

The Bible mentions angels throughout the Old and New Testaments and they play a prominent role in the Nativity story. The angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce she will have a child, an angel told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife even though she is pregnant, and a whole gaggle of angels visit the shepherds that first Christmas Eve to proclaim glory to God and peace on earth and good will to all people.

Outside of what we learn in the scriptures, most of us probably don't know a whole lot about angels. In fact, most of what many people know they learned from Hollywood movies like "It's A Wonderful Life," and "Angels In the Outfield." I wonder if we really have guardian angels who only earn their wings by doing good deeds. And is it possible that my favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals had angels in the outfield with them last October when they won the World Series?? ?

What then do we know about angels? The scriptures tell us there are many classes of angels including seraphim, cherubim and archangels. Angels are used as messengers to proclaim good news and serve God in many ways. When Adam and Eve are evicted from the garden in Genesis God places two cherubim with flaming swords at the entrance to discourage their return.?Hardly the image of sweet little cherubs we see exhibited in famous paintings by folks like Rafael.

Are there guardian angels? Some swear by them and tell stories of how their lives were changed because of the actions of angels.

I believe we can say that God most certainly uses angels to accomplish His purposes on earth when no one else is available. However, I also think we should take care not to forget what is God's primary instrument for doing His work on earth. The answer would be you and me. Yes, I believe there are angels. They live down the street from you, around the corner and they sometimes work at your office or attend school with you. This Christmas, let us remember we are God's hands and feet in this realm. We can also be messengers of good news and bearers of God's peace and good will. We can be Christmas angels for those in need.?

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