Pondering for Thursday, December 16, 2021

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

Morning, Psalm 50; Evening, Psalm 60;

Zechariah 4:1 to 14; Revelation 4:9 to 5:5; Matthew 25:1 to 13:

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

(Edited and republished from December 19, 2019)

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 for ignorance.

I believe God still allows angels to be made known in our lives to move us or shift us in 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 causes 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 whose bringing it.  We must be attentive to what the question or message is, not the messenger.  Or, maybe we should, could be an angel after all!

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 persons intervene to assist in curing Naaman of his leprosy.  Are they angels?  Only 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 speaks for the “One sitting on the throne.”  Angels are both messengers, and when necessary, correctors of the human experience as may be best for us and is pleasing to God. Angels don’t arrive, they appear. They are already here!  Do you know whether or not you have had an encounter with one? Don’t expect wings; thank you artists, but scripture doesn’t support wings.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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