Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Good Christian Men Rejoice"1 (Lyrics)
A couple of years ago during Advent, I became fascinated with the angels in the Christmas story. It's no accident that angels have become a popular Christmas decoration. Here is a summary of what I found in the scriptural reports of angels around the nativity.
The angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, to announce that he would become the father of John the Baptist, a cousin of Jesus. (Luke 1:11-20)
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to the virgin Mary to announce that Jesus would be conceived. (Luke 1:26-38)
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream before Jesus was born to instruct him to take Mary as his wife. (Matthew 1:19-23)
When Jesus was born, an angel of the Lord brought good news of great joy for all people to shepherds in fields watching over their flocks at night. (Luke 2:8-12)
"Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor]." (Luke 2:13-14 AMP)
Can you imagine how an army of the troops of heaven looked and sounded as they spoke in chorus?
Then, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream after the visiting wise men from the east departed, instructing him to flee to Egypt with the young Child and His mother. (Matthew 2:13)
Awesome angels and heavenly hosts participated at every turn as Jesus became flesh and began to dwell with us on earth.
After that, I looked in the Bible to see how angels might interact with those who trust in God today. I got excited with these passages:
Hebrews 1:14 – Are not the angels all ministering spirits (servants) sent out in the service [of God for the assistance] of those who are to inherit salvation? (AMP)
Psalm 91:11 – For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. (NKJV)
In other words, the same love and care that the Father displayed for Jesus, His Son, at His birth, is also for us. Angels and hosts worked for Jesus, and angels and hosts work for us when we do the Father's pleasure and obey His commands. When we open our hearts to God's ways, His ministering spirits step in and assist us too!
As Advent unfolds and we hear the familiar story of Christmas again this year, may we see how God has been with us in the past and find new awareness of God's presence, power, and love with us, now and in the future. I can think of no better Christmas gift.
Prayer: Father in heaven, in the name of Christ Jesus our wonderful Lord, we ask You, please give birth and nurture to fresh, confident hope, joy, peace, and love in our hearts. May we demonstrate with boldness to those around us in the world that You sent Jesus, and that You love them as You love Him. Thank You, Father, that angels keep us in all of our ways! Amen.