3rd December 2017
At this time of year we inevitably think of Angels, and their role in the birth of Christ. Angels appear throughout scripture and are called various names in different places like cherubim, seraphim and living creatures. Bill Crowder in his book ‘Windows on Christmas’ reminds us that in scripture we see angels guarding Eden, waging war, rescuing Peter from prison, worshipping in the presence of God, and even in some tragic cases rebelling against God.
The word angel comes from the greek angelos, which means a messenger, an envoy. In the pages of our Bibles we see angels carrying messages of warning, as with Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19, or messages of rescue as with Shadrach, Meschech and Abednego in Daniel 3 and messages of instruction as with Hagar in Genesis 16. All of these involve delivering messages from God. Certainly angels do much more than deliver messages, but they are critical in God’s plan for earth in making announcements from heaven to earth.
So we should in no way be surprised to learn that the New Testament word for “preaching the gospel” is evangelios, which comes from the same word as “angel”. the gospel (good news) which we are tasked as Christians to proclaim, was first delivered to the world by angels during the event surrounding the birth of our saviour.
Revd Mark Robinson