Day 19: Angels
Luke 2:13-14 - “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.”
Copyright All images & writing © 2018 Charis Seed Photography All rights reserved
I’ve spent an above average amount of time with nativity sets. And I can tell you one of the signs of a deluxe nativity is an angel. No offense to the basic holy family trio, but a real nativity usually packs a donkey, two sheep and one angel. I’ve seen two angel nativity sets, but I think we can all agree that’s just overkill.As a father my heart tends to relate with the underrated Joseph figure camouflaged in his drab brown. Before kids, my college self vainly imagined himself as a wise man.
But in childhood, it was the angel that fascinated me.Now I’m sure there’s a kid out there somewhere that dreams about being a shepherd. But the angels in the Christmas story are the ones with super powers. They fly. They have wings. Usually a localized laser light show is shooting all around them. They have little floating halos as accessories. Sometimes a long stemmed trumpet and the really talented angels carry a harp!
But most of these features are desperate attempts to picture a phenomena beyond imagination: The Glory of God.
Like the moon reflecting the sun, angels with their radiance reflect the glory of God.
They are decadent. They show off on God’s behalf in the Christmas story. It’s my theory that the angels singing in the fields was an over-the-top display of a proud Father. God was so proud of His only son’s entrance into the world that He sent angels to sing and shout about it. Think about it. He sent a choir of angels to an isolated group of shepherds. He doesn’t want to let the secret out, but God is just too pleased to keep quiet. God the Father is by proxy dancing around singing, “He’s glorious! My son is glorious! Most beautiful baby you ever seen! Go check Him out! He’s amazing!”
I like to think that a jubilant God the Father sent more choirs of angels to isolated areas that night, but the shepherds are the only ones Mary heard from directly. I envision a king in Africa surprised by a band of angels suddenly ripping open the night with their praises. Or a nordic tribe left dumbfounded by heavenly visitors dancing around their fire singing of the King of Heaven. Maybe.
All this glory. I think God inserts a few fireworks into the first Christmas to remind us how glorious Jesus truly is.
To remind us that the true glory of the Messiah far exceeds that of angels. To remind us that Jesus is choosing humility.
To remind us that Jesus commands angels, but chooses to be silent before His accusers.
He’s choosing dust and straw over streets of gold.
And angels remind us that Jesus came so that God’s radiance could shine in us. So remember that heaven rejoices when they see God’s love lived out on earth. Let that motivate you. Your choice to love a difficult relative might trigger a heavenly rock concert. Your small act of kindness may be a broadway play in the theater of heaven.
Even when God chooses to be small, His joy is still big.
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Copyright All images & writing © 2018 Charis Seed Photography