In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” Luke 1:26-33 (ESV)
Angels are as commonplace in the Christmas story as any of the other characters. Today, they are represented as ornaments, tree toppers, and find them hanging out in the nativity scene. We hear them on high, sweetly singing o'er the plains, and we join their choruses through the advent season.
As a kid we had an angel suspended by fishing line hovering over the manger scene we got from Costco. A host of other handmade angels decorated our tree: the pipe cleaner; the toilet paper tube; the feathers; any common craft supply could be turned into a divine messenger from God. However, the angels that appeared during the first advent were not so common as the ones we had in my house growing up. We don’t know what went on in the radio silence that took place between Malachi and Matthew in the scriptures; but, scripture does not reveal anyone being visited by angels over that 400-year period. The first angels we read about in the New Testament are carrying the best message; heralding the Messiah’s coming, to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds and also appeared to Mary's extended family.
Now we find ourselves in the season of advent. Even if angels haven’t visited us we know of their presence and we may be met with a different type of “angel”...
We have a multitude of people who are pointing us to Jesus just as the shepherds were. They are reminding us He is coming soon and leading us in praises to Him. Let us remind each other, as in the first advent season, another advent awaits us. Jesus is our coming King, and we can lift our praises in worship as we wait in expectation for Him. Let us sing together this song of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased”.