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Devotional: Christmas Angels – 4th Thursday in Advent

4th Thursday in Advent

Christmas Angels

AngelBut the angel said to [the shepherds], “Do not be afraid. I bring
you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today
in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the
Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a
baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a
great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:10-14

Angels, like the ones we find on our Chrismon tree, play a very important role
in the Christmas story. An angel announced to the virgin Mary that she was going
to bear the Son of God, then appeared to Joseph, telling him the very same
thing. Finally, we see a group of them announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds
outside of Bethlehem. You might just get the idea that the main role of
angels was to make announcements for God, and you would be right! The word
for angel literally means “messenger” and they played a similar role as human
beings who bore that title: acting as a king’s herald who made royal announcements.
In this case, the king was God himself, and the announcement was a
proclamation of universal good news about the birth of His Son. Some suggest
that Isaiah 9:6 is the background of this announcement:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on
his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting
Father, Prince of Peace.

But the angel had different titles for this king. (1) Savior: As we’ve seen, the
Jews had been longing for one since sin entered into the world, and certainly
since the Romans had taken over their land. (2) Messiah: He is the Anointed
One, the Christ, and even from the town of David, as had been prophesied. (3)
Lord: This last title must have blown the shepherds away. The angel identifies
Jesus with the God of Israel! Could the long-awaited Savior and Messiah really
be God himself? Then a whole army of angels joined him in song, noting that
this birth would result in glory to God in heaven, and God’s grace and peace to
people on earth. Have you noticed that angels always point away from themselves
and toward God? That is now our role today: to share this good news
with others. Did you ever think you could be an angel?

Prayer: Jesus, we worship you as our Savior, our Messiah, our Lord. Help us to
be like your angels, announcing the good news of your birth this Christmas.
Amen.