DayBreaks for 12/28/11 – When Angel’s Wings Tremble
20 Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! – Psalm 103:20
Angel simply means “messenger.” They are, of course, messengers of God, dispatched with words from the Almighty. When you stop to think of the messages that “angels” have delivered to mankind, some are joyous, some were words of doom, some of encouragement, and others that surely brought terror and dismay.
Have you ever been asked to deliver a message for someone that you’d rather not deliver at all? I recall times when I’ve had to tell people that they no longer had a job, or that their son had been killed in a hunting accident. Such messages I would rather not have to deliver ever again. I don’t like to have to tell such things to people. And I would suspect that there were times the angels didn’t want to have to deliver a message from God…but who were they to refuse? (I am on thin ice there theologically – for all I know, the angels always delight in delivering God’s messages…but who knows? They see to have emotions much like we do – so I suspect that they had thoughts and feelings about the words they were to deliver.)
Frederick Buechner reflected on one such message when he wrote these words: “She struck the angel Gabriel as hardly old enough to have a child at all, let alone this child, but he’d been entrusted with a message to give her, and he gave it. He told her what the child was to be named, and who he was to be, and something about the mystery that was to come upon her. “You mustn’t be afraid, Mary,” he said. And as he said it, he only hoped she wouldn’t notice that beneath the great, golden wings he himself was trembling with fear to think that the whole future of creation hung now on the answer of a girl.”
God has certainly given us humans tremendous opportunity and responsibility, hasn’t He? To the human girl, Mary, He gave this message. As a human, I’d wonder if God really knew what He was doing if God had entrusted that message to me to deliver to a virgin teen in Palestine…but Gabriel, I feel certain, understood that God knew perfectly well what He was doing. Later, Jesus would give an even greater challenge to all His followers when He said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…baptizing….teaching….” I wonder, were there angels in heaven that wondered at the wisdom of a plan to reach the entire world with the message of grace and salvation through Jesus by placing that message in the mouth of humans? Did they wonder if God had some “backup” plan in case we humans failed (as we are so prone to do and as the angels had repeatedly observed on countless occasions)?
God has wrought great things countless times through the weak and unlikely. He wants to do it with you, too. And He can, if you will only say “Yes!”
PRAYER: God, when we need hope, let us remember the words of the Alpha and the Omega, who makes EVERYTHING new and stirs hope in our hearts!! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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