Monday, December 1, 2008

"hark the herald angels sing . . ."

"at once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises..." (luke 2.13, the message)

we have a familiar routine when company is coming. while bill and i do the last minute crazy-clean, we set the kids to watching out the front window for our guests to arrive. not only does that keep the kids out of the way while we clean, but we figure it will give us a little more advance notice that the guests have arrived.

when the door buzzer sounds, zoe runs to "buzz" them in (push the button to open the two front doors) while tessa and tate run to open the apartment door to welcome them to our aparment. together they do a good job "heralding" the arrival of our guests.

"suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God..."
(luke 2.13, new living translation)

when Jesus was born and lying in the manger, God didn't use just anyone to herald his arrival, he used a "multitude" of angels. when we dig deeper we learn that these angels make up the "armies of heaven" (see 1 kings 22.19, 2 kings 6.17 and psalm 148.2). with an army like this at his command, we get a glimpse of the sovereign authority and power of God.

their purpose was to herald the arrival of God's promised Messiah. luke tells us that they are "praising God." having just left God's presence to appear on earth, they continue to sing his praises. they know something very few others do: earth has just received a most incredible gift.

which leads me to wonder . . . are we conscious of the incredible gift we received through Jesus' birth? is our response to praise and worship God? as we enter the crazy-busyness of the holiday season, let's not forget to follow the model of the herald angels and make sure we praise God for his incredible gift.

for the kids: you can talk to your kids about what an incredible sight it would have been for the shepherds to witness: God's armies filling the skies above them. you might even want to read the story from 2 kings 6 as an example of the incredible power the angels had. for a project, make an angel ornament. trace and cut out their hands for wings. cut out a person shape to dress and decorate as you like. glue the handprints on the back.

1 comment:

KAA said...

I never thought about how God's ARMY of angels did something apparently so unique as to sing as a choir praises to God, something an army does not usually do. Only the birth of the Messiah could bring about something out-of-character, and yet I continually response in such a way that only takes it for granted over and over again.