The Archangel Michael
The bulletin cover picture today is not what we usually expect when we think of an angel. According to the bible, angels are God’s assistants who work for God when He is otherwise occupied, and are usually depicted as being male. As Lorrie asked me when we planned this service, where did we get the idea they were beautiful young women with wings? The archangel Michael is definitely not a beautiful young woman. He is known as the protector, chief of the guardian angels, or warrior angel and is thought by some to also be the angel of death, the angel who carried out the tenth and last plague God used to convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. Probably the only thing Hollywood got right in the movie “Michael” was John Travolta’s comment “I’m not that kind of angel”
What do you think happens when an angel looses his temper?
When an angel gets mad,
he takes a deep breath
and slowly counts to ten.
And when he lets out his breath again,
somewhere there's a tornado.
Sermon April 29th 2018
Angels Among Us
St. Davids is a church whose members are very involved in the local community. More so than in any other church I have been involved with. I recently found in a book I am reading a comment that emphasized the need for involvement outside of the church itself. A comment that Christine, Joan, Suzanne, Laurie, and some others, I am positive would understand
“Christians are like manure in a garden, if you spread it around it makes everything grow, but if you just leave it all in one place it just stinks!”
Surprising as you might find it, most of the information you can find about angels is not biblical. Depending on the version of the bible you use the word angel appears just over 340 times. Also surprising is that the bible specifically names only two, Gabriel (the messenger) and Michael (the protector or warrior) also sometimes called the angel of death.
There are other words used in our bible that we have interpreted as angels such as seraphim, cherubim, and the “heavenly host”. Looking outside of our bible and you find either seven or fifteen, all of them given names.
Other cultures and religions also include angels, using various names. As a matter of fact angels are not the only things we think of as being christian, that do not always originate with Christianity. We have simply taken over pagan festivals and cultural practices and made them our own.
Take these two statements as examples.
1. “There are only two men who have walked the earth without having an earthly father, the first was Adam created by God, the second was Jesus, born of a woman but conceived without the aid of an earthly man.”
2. “The only true religion is total submission to God”
Both of these statements sound christian but both are actually taken from the doctrine of non christian religion.
So, if we can borrow the doctrine of other religions, and the practices of other cultures, and make them our own, I see no reason why we cannot accept the presence of angels regardless of where the information came from. Keep in mind I usually state my own opinion,and not all of the statements I might make can be proven by scripture.
The music group Alabama wrote a song that I have taken as the theme for this service.
"Angels Among Us"
was walking home from school, on a cold winter day
Took a shortcut through the woods, and I lost my way
It was getting late, and I was scared and alone
But then a kind old man, took my hand, and led me home
Mama couldn't see him, oh but he was standing there
And I knew in my heart, he was the answer to my prayers
Oh I believe there are, angels among us
Sent down to us, from somewhere up above
They come to you and me, in our darkest hours
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give
To guide us with the light of love
The most common types of angels we hear about are guardian angels and healing angels. We don’t often think of angels as messengers except when reading the old testament or thinking about the birth of Jesus, and the early stages of Jesus life. Both Mary and Joseph were visited by an angel messenger. So was John the Baptist's father. Messenger angels are also usually identified as appearing in a dream, a time when it is usually quiet and and the angels voices are easier to hear.
We have a tendency to think that being extremely wealthy would
be great. Just think of the advantages we would have. The
wealthy have definite advantages, and a rich mans child has
advantages most of us do not. But as a child of God, we also
Rich man’s child would have a Body guard to prevent things like
kidnapping, or being bullied.
God’s child has a Guardian angel to look after her or him.
Rich man’s child would have a private physician to look after
God’s child has a healing angel to care for him or her.
Rich man’s child would have a private tutor to enhance education.
God’s child has the Holy Spirit as a guide for their entire life.
All angels do healing work, but there is a particular group of
angels called ‘Healing Angels’ that are called in by guardian
angels when healing is required. There are literally millions
healing angels, in all shapes, sizes and forms, and God is
healing angels on the world all the time. All we have to do is
for their help.
We must always remember that the healing will happen in the
way that God knows is best for us. Sometimes we may not
recognize that healing has occurred, as it may not have been
healing we asked for – it may be emotional or spiritual
rather than physical. We need to watch out for healing and
recognize when it has been granted. Often healing can seem
small, perhaps somebody who has been depressed for a long time
smiles or laughs; maybe someone who was in a lot of physical
distress feels a lot better; or maybe a mother who has been
stressed out and unable to cope suddenly feels happiness and joy.
One thing we have be aware of; when angels speak it is with a “still small voice”, so we must be silent when they are speaking. We also have to really listen to what they have to say before we react. And therein lies our biggest problem. It is an accepted fact that 85% of human communication is not the words we say but the way we say them. Our body language and tone of voice is all that we pay attention to.
A great pity!!, body language confuses me, and I do not know how to read it. When my words are interpreted wrong, because I didn’t use the right body language, I get frustrated. My frustration is very often misinterpreted as anger. When I refuse to speak during an argument because I realize there is no possibility of a compromise my silence results in my being called passive-aggressive, whatever that means. Silence during a conversation is also often mistaken for indifference. A slight pause in the conversation, is an excuse for an interruption, which is especially common in any political debate, and I would put quotation marks around the word debate. An uncontrollable shouting match is a better description.
But angels are spiritual beings, they do not shout; their words are not audible, there is no body language, there voices come only as quiet thoughts in our mind. In the bible stories angels very often appeared in dreams when they had a message for someone. In Samuel’s case all he heard was his own name being called, but it took three time before he stopped to listen before reacting. It is a problem every one of us has, we think we know what the other person is going to say and do not let them finish before interrupting, and/or reacting
A very wise man once told “Do not get into a discussion, or especially an argument unless you are willing to listen to all sides of the subject, there are always at least two sides of every disagreement, usually more”. But we do not listen!! Take any protest going on right now. If you pay attention to what is bring said you will find there are no discussions or legitimate arguments taking place, just a lot of shouting and rhetoric from people who have already made up their minds and are only interested in their own opinion.
When God spoke at the baptism of Jesus He said “This is my beloved son listen to him” but most of the time what we remember is not what Jesus said, but his healing of the blind, the lame, and the lepers and we concentrate on the fact that he was crucified. We forget all about the actual words he used in his teaching!
As a result it no longer matters what we say as long as we add the right body language. I can let loose a tirade of foul language mixed with derogatory sarcasm and, with the right body language, call myself a comedian, and almost everyone will laugh. It is no wonder some people think God doesn’t speak to us since the old testament times. Oh yes He does! We just don’t listen!
As a child I was always told “we do
God or the angels.” It was
always “ God did it” or “it’s just God’s
will”, but when I read the bible I became confused.
Take the phrases Found in Matthew chapter 7 verse 7
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find;
it shall be opened unto you:
To me this seemed just the
opposite to what I was taught, it was
as if we were encouraged to ask
questions, to look for answers
and to get help when we needed it. The
problem is who do you
ask for help? Who can you trust? I
personally think that if you pay
close attention to what scripture says,
and listen for the voice of
the angels, you will have all the
information you need to make up
your own mind.