Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Little Town Of Bethlehem"1 (Lyrics)
A beautifully crafted stained-glass window is a marvel to see. Warm, clear sunlight streaming through the coloured panes illuminates Bible people and stories. Often, the figures are angels, with adoring faces and luminous robes, announcing God's messages, or adoring the Christ Child. Images of angels adorn our Christmas trees, greeting cards, and table decorations. Sometimes, I think that God's enemy would try to draw our attention to angels and stars, and away from the significance of the Christ Child and His humble entry into our world.
The enemy would also try to convince us that Jesus Himself was an angel, not really human at all, but the writer to the Hebrews refutes that.
Hebrews 2:5-8 – For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, "What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet." Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. (ESV)
Jesus, superior to the angels, is fully human, with a human nature added to His divine nature, existing in one amazing Person.
In Christmas art, it is right to depict angels in worship of Jesus, crowned with glory and honour. At Christmastime, we recognize in Him our brother and friend, able to identify with all of our weaknesses and doubts, hopes and fears. Being fully God, He is the only One Who can save us, being made the complete payment for our sins, and being made for a little while lower than the angels to do this for us.
This Christmas, take time to enjoy the nativity scenes and stained glass, with the angels declaring Christ's birth to the shepherds, and the heavenly host lighting up the night sky. I hope that you will see not just them, but the Lord Himself, born of a human woman by the Holy Spirit, sent by God to show Himself to His beloved people, and take on Himself the sins of the world.
- O sing a song of Bethlehem,
Of shepherds watching there,
And of the news that came to them
From angels in the air:
The light that shone on Bethlehem
Fills all the world today;
Of Jesus' birth and peace on earth
The angels sing alway.
– Louis F. Benson
Prayer: We thank You, Lord, for Your holy angels and for the part that they played in announcing Your birth. We praise You for the gift of Jesus to the world, for our salvation. Amen.