The word angel literally means messenger, and just as the angels brought God's message of salvation to the world on the first Christmas, Christians are tasked to be God's messengers and carry His word to the world today. With such a powerful responsibility entrusted to us, what can we learn from the angels in the Christmas story that can help us to carry out God's will?
The first few chapters of Matthew and Luke tell us that angels appeared to Mary who was a young woman still living at home, Joseph who worked as a professional carpenter and the shepherds whose occupation mostly likely led to their being shunned by their fellow countrymen.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
The Bible makes it very clear that God's love and salvation are for all. And just like we have been accepted regardless of our earthly position, so too must we reach out to whomever God places in our lives.
This equality extends beyond ignoring material wealth and social status, however, and bids us to reach out to those who may be difficult to be around or hard to engage in conversations. When you notice one of your neighbors around The Gardens at Barry Road struggling with the holiday blues, loneliness or bitterness let them know they are loved. They may not accept your words at the time, but continue to pray for them and follow God's prompting in your interactions.
It's important to note that the angels weren't alone in their mission. While each of them had their assigned task, God used a great company to complete His plan.
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4: 16 (NIV)
In the same way, we can take comfort in knowing that we aren't alone no matter what task God has given us to accomplish.
He promises to be with us and give us strength, and we have the prayers and support of our brothers and sisters in Christ too.
Part of the angels' message was that of praise. Ironically, it's easy to lose sight of God in the business of the season which is meant to celebrate Him. Quiet, personal moments spent with our Savior can get pushed to the side as we try to carve out time for family gatherings, church services, parties with friends and seasonal activities that we only get to experience once a year.
By putting an emphasis on worshiping God, we can keep our eyes centered on Him and the amazing things He has done in our lives and throughout history.
LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)
This focus on God's character will increase our joy and peace and help us to straighten our priorities so that we spend our time during the Christmas season and into the new year in ways that please Him and bless us and those around us.
Posted on Mon, December 17, 2018
by The Gardens at Barry Road