We were talking about angels.
Specifically, we were talking about angels in the Christmas story during the children’s message at church on Sunday when the little boy said, “My Grandma says that I am an angel.” To which I replied, “Of course you are an angel, and here’s why. Think about what the angels did — they were God’s messengers delivering God’s message about Jesus, first to Joseph (in Matthew) and then to Mary (in Luke), and then to the shepherds (also in Luke). And after giving the message to the shepherds, they worshipped God, singing, ‘Glory to God in the highest; and peace to God’s people!’”
The angels were messengers and they worshipped God. Indeed, we can be God’s angels: people who worship God and tell others God’s good news message about Jesus Christ.
We can be God’s angels. There’s another story in the gospels about the angels ministering to Jesus after he had been tempted by the devil in the wilderness.
In the Gospel according to Mark, Jesus is in the home of his disciples, Simon and Andrew. Then we learn that Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever. When Jesus heard that she was ill, he took her by the hand, lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. She then began to serve them. (Once I get over the “Oh, sure, make the woman who had been sick get up and serve the men” — I realize that the same Greek word for “serve”, as in “she began to serve them”, is also used for the angels in the wilderness who “waited on” Jesus, or “ministered to” him. In other words, Simon’s mother-in-law is “ministering to” Jesus just as the angels “ministered to” Jesus.)
God’s people are God’s angels — worshipping God, telling others the good news message about Jesus, and ministering to those who are in need.
Sometimes you are God’s angel – sent to someone to give them good news, a word of encouragement, a word of hope, a word of caring and concern. Sometimes you are God’s angel – sent to minister to someone in need. Sometimes you are God’s angel – declaring God’s praise, lifting your voice in worship in the assembly of other angels worshipping the Lord of heaven and earth.
And sometimes, maybe God’s angels are sent to you, as someone comes to you to give you the message of good news, a word of encouragement, a word of hope, a word of caring and concern. Sometimes, maybe God’s angels are sent to you to minister to you in your time of need. And then, together, you lift your voices in songs of praise for what the Lord has done for you.
This is the work of the church — angel work. We worship, we share the good news, and we minister to those in need. In these few weeks before Christmas, a time to celebrate God’s coming into the world, perhaps you can be on the lookout for God’s angels at work – people who worship God, who share the good news, and minister to those in need. Not only can you be looking for other angels, you just might be called into action yourself.
Be an angel, worship God, share the good news, minister to others. Indeed, go and be one of God’s angels!
Rev. June M. Fryman is Pastor of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wilmington.