Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Advent Angels 19

The final group of angels are herald angels, those who have announcements to make which often change the lives of those who hear them.

Abraham had been promised that he would become the father of a multitude (Genesis 12) but many years had passed and the promise had not come true. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and it seemed as if this would never happen.

Then, suddenly, out of the desert come three men. The account says that “the Lord appeared to Abraham”. Somehow, mysteriously,  these three men embody the presence of God. Though they are not identified specifically as angels, they come with a message. God’s promise to Abraham is about to be fulfilled. Sarah will have a son.

This passage is a good example of the rather ambiguous way in which Old Testament writers in particular tend to write about God and the angels, shifting without explanation or apology from the singular, “God appeared” to the plural “ three men”. It doesn’t really matter that they do this, however, as the meaning is clear. God is speaking, and his words make things happen.

Sarah laughs when she hears that she will soon be pregnant; whether with delight or disbelief is not clear, but when her son is born she names him Isaac, which means “laughter”. These angels have brought her the joy she has always longed for.

·         What is the most joyful announcement that has ever been made to you?

·         Have you ever had an unexpected encounter which has changed your life?

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