Christmas and sermons ... since I happen to sleep and do life with a pastor, I'm familiar with the holly and lilies crowd. There's one, at the most two, cracks at them a year. They only come Christmas and Easter. So, the annual or biannual question is how to tell a wonderful old story in a new way. And, for the rest of us we also hear the same wonderful old story in a new way!
Today we heard about angels and here's the shorter version:
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
Peter says the prophets wondered about the meaning of their own prophecies: where Jesus was going to be born (in Bethlehem) or what it meant that the Messiah was going to come as a light into darkness. Do you guess Isaiah understood what he was writing about a virgin and a child and a son to be given?
Peter says it’s not only prophets who wonder, who scratch their heads and ask: Apparently angels also wonder and think about the real message of Christmas!
What do we know about angels?
- Angels are God’s heavenly watchers. What are they watching? They watch what goes on in heaven. They watch us. Some of these angel creatures have many more eyes than we do. They can watch more than one thing at a time. They watch what God Himself is doing. In Genesis 1 God says, Let us make man in our image …. Angels were there. They eavesdropped on the whispered conversation between God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Angels wonder what God is doing and what’s going to happen. It must have been an amazing conversation for the angels to overhear! Do you guess they hushed their singing for a moment so they wouldn’t miss a single word?
I think there's something else angels wonder about. I think they are totally puzzled and ask among themselves: WHY don’t they (meaning us, the earth creatures) realize what He’s done for them? That just might be the greatest mystery of all to an angel.
The good news of Christmas is that God has done something for us earthlings that his extra-terrestrial creatures (aka angels) can only imagine. God sent Jesus to take care of our biggest problem - sin - and Jesus did just that! The good news of Christmas is that this is all true – every last word! Jesus is real! God is real! Angels are real! And it's really, really true that God loves you and me far more than we can possibly imagine!