Pondering for Thursday, December 19, 2019

Daily Office Readings for Thursday of the 3rd Week of Advent Year 2

AM Psalm 50; PM Psalm [59, 60] or 33 Zech. 4:1-14; Rev. 4:9-5:5; Matt. 25:1-13

“The angel who talked with me came again, and wakened me, as one is wakened from sleep.”  (Zechariah 4:1)

Our readings from Zechariah and Revelation speak of angels and their ongoing relationship with us as they carry out God’s will.  Zechariah, like Jacob and Elijah and Joseph were awakened by angels as one is wakened from sleep.  It occurs to me that sleep may just be a metaphor of ignorance.

I believe God still sends angels into our lives to move us or shift us into the direction that God wants us to travel.  Sometimes such angels may be two or three people away. For example, an angel may influence a friend of yours to ask you something that in turn caused you to act or respond in a way that is pleasing to God.  In such a case we waste time and God’s blessing if we judge the message by the one bringing it.  We must be attentive to what the question or message is, not the messenger.

There are several places in the Bible where the one who is helpful is not named but makes all the difference in the outcome. I will share two, both from Second Kings where we read, “Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife.  She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”” (2 Kings 5: 2 – 3)  And again, “Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” (2 Kings 5: 13)  In both cases unnamed person intervene to ass Naaman with his leprosy.  Are they angels?  God knows.

In the reading from Revelation today we have an angel asking the question. “And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” (Revelation 5:2)  Angels always seem to be connecting with us in our thin places, that is as we are in prayer, or dreaming or otherwise letting go of business.   The angel in the Revelation that John received seems to come directly from the One seated on the throne and speaks for the One sitting on the throne.  Angels are both messengers and, when necessary, correctors of human history as may be best for us and is pleasing to God.

I have heard so many angel stories.  I love them all. Angels are shrouded in mystery.  In the midst of our dealing with an angel we lose track of time.  It becomes clear no ordinary person is with us.  Perhaps the term “fear not” has real merit in such circumstances. I do know this, once visited, you can’t un-visit.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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