The angel seen by the shepherds watching their flock was heavenly, beautiful and awe inspiring. The shepherds knew the angel was of the Lord and they were terrified. The angel said, “Do not be afraid; for see—I bring you good news of great joy…” (LU 10). Metaphysically, we interpret angels as messengers or messages from God.
This reminds me of a story about a minister who often was greeted in the church by someone looking for monetary assistance to get them through. This minister knew that many of these requests were from individuals just looking for a hand out but not wanting to really exercise a faith in the Divine or be willing to do their share to assist themselves through the gifts they had. So, the minister tried to listen to each one with discerning ears sometimes hearing an ego at play yet sometimes hearing an honest need. The minister as always asked to pray with the individual. And on parting shared words of wisdom, welcoming the individual to join the congregation and service and relaying blessings of peace and good will. The minister knew that even when one comes begging through greed or laziness that the time spent was always an opening for the Holy Spirit to do its work whether at that moment or another moment down the road.
This particular Sunday morning just before Christmas the minister had been praying for a Christmas miracle, a Christmas gift. A man had walked into the church and proceeded to tell his tale of woe. He spilled his life history and that of his wife and family. Much of it sounded like the usual fabrication of what might be considered coming from a “flim-flam” man. And yet there were times that the minister knew he was being guided to continue to listen. After several minutes the man brought the minister to the present moment by saying something profound that came as words from the Holy Spirit and touched the minister in a deep place that needed more healing. It opened the minister to knowing more revelation was to be at hand and that the minister was being blessed with a wondrous gift only God could present.
There are many references in the Bible to angels. One that is often overlooked is in Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews, chapter 13 verse 2, where he exhorts his audience, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” This day this minister met an angel almost unaware. He would have missed his gift, his joy, the Divine communion.
As you go through this week remember joy is a blessing from the experience of the Divine. It often shows up when we entertain strangers. Be blessed by strangers and let them bless you.
Love and God Bless,