A message from Dion

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 26th November 2016, 16:45

Looking for Angels
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The bible is full of stories of Angels from Genesis 3 where God placed a Cherubim with a sword (!) to guard the tree of life, through the Gospels where we find the Angels attending Jesus, all the way to Revelations where we read of the four living creatures with six wings and four faces. Despite these unusual pictorial images of Angels a lot of examples of them come with the caveat “Do not be afraid”.
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So are these just stories in the bible like the flood that have no bearing on us in 2016? Are Angels spirits or do they manifest as human form, or winged Angels? Well in church we say every week in our Communion service the Nicene Creed which includes the words ‘I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible’.  So if I asked you now to think of an image of an Angel what comes to mind?
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Amanda told us in one of her recent sermons that Angels are messengers of God, so whilst we should not worship them we should respect them as such and listen to their message. It says in Genesis Chapter 19 ‘God has granted them power and some authority in his name’. Is this why we are told not to be afraid? So why are some people weary of them? Is it perhaps the feeling that this is a spiritual encounter? Or perhaps it’s the authority with which they speak?
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In Tobit we meet the Angel Raphael who appears in human form and it is only revealed as an Angel later on in the book. Why do you think this might be? Perhaps it could have been  that the Angel chose this so that Tobit would behave ‘normally’ around him and treat him as he would another stranger or neighbour, thus being honest in his dealings. Tobit was not seeking to prove himself to an Angel, seeking God’s favour, or ‘standing on ceremony’ for a special visitor. Similarly in his letter to the Hebrews, St Paul says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained Angels unawares.” ….. This is a good thing for us to remember today – God is with us always and sees our heart and our deeds, and so we should treat every stranger and neighbour with Christ’s love.  In Amanda’s recent sermon she stated that we may be able to talk the talk, but can we walk the walk as well? At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to ‘Love one another’ and that means not just those we like, but those we don’t and those we don’t know …. because they may be Angels! The thing is – how good are we at doing this?
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As we are now in the season of Advent think of the Angels who appeared to Zechariah, Joseph and the Wise Men. And remember that Angels are still with us now, seen and unseen – They bring a message of love and hope and work for our creator God. They might be sat next to you or they could be the next homeless person you meet.  Be prepared to meet with them and thank them for their ministry, listen to their message and give thanks to God for his amazing creation.
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I want to close by repeating the Advent message from the Angel Gabriel to you (Luke 1; 28): “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you”.  May God continue to pour out his love and blessing on you all this Advent and Christmas.

Dion.
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PS Dion is a member of our church and is training to become a priest!  This is his first article and I thought perfect for our Christmas Edition. Wishing you every blessing for a joyous and peaceful Christmas!

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Rev’d Amanda

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