It’s interesting to track the appearance of angels in the Bible. The first time we see one is when Adam and Eve are excluded from the Garden of Eden after deciding that they didn’t want to live God’s way. God places and angel with a flaming sword at the entry to paradise – a ‘keep out’ sign clearly posted.
Other appearances of angels throughout Scripture are mostly just one angel, usually designated ‘the angel of the Lord’. They are sent at key times to warn, or to guide and encourage, or to bring the Lord’s message.
When it comes to opening up the way back into the garden, into God’s loving presence, the largest gathering of angels ever recorded is mustered. The announcement is heralded by myriads of angels giving glory to God. How many is a ‘myriad’? Too many to count! It’s by far the biggest announcement in the Bible. And it’s to humble shepherds, people on the margins of society.
So important is this turn of events that God gets together the most spectacular heavenly choir ever to accompany the announcement. Throughout the life of Jesus, God’s rescuer, angles appear over and over again (mentioned more than 50 times in the gospels), particularly around his birth, death, resurrection and ascension. There is no doubt that God is putting a big signpost here that Jesus is the focus of history. Who He is and what He does matters – more than anything else. He opens up the way back to God, the way to a joyous and blessed eternity.
Joy to the world!
The leadership and staff teams and families join me in wishing you a very happy Christmas. We trust you are blessed refreshed in every way over this Christmas period.