Angels sang in the heavens when Christ was born. Shepherds in the fields saw and heard them. But that was not the first time that angels had come, nor would it be the last. In the Old Testament Abraham entertained angels unawares, and Jacob dreamed of angels ascending and descending a ladder. In the Gospels an angel told Mary that her son would be the Christ, and angels were at the resurrection, too. The book of Revelation tells us that angels will be there for the new heaven and the new earth. And the examples go on and on.
Alexander Pope observed that “fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Pope may have been right, but he leaves a question. Where do angels want to tread? Using the Bible as our guide, they want to go where God sends them, to deliver God’s message, and to do God’s will. We could learn a thing or two from them!
Our pilgrim journey is a personal commitment, but it is also a message and a declaration. A declaration that we are committed to lives of obedience and words of love. Whatever we do and whatever we say, our lives fill a role similar to the angels sometimes. We are God’s messengers.
Laura Copenhaver was the daughter of a Lutheran minister. She demonstrated a talent and passion for the written word, preparing poems, hymns, and pageants for Sunday schools. Heralds of Christ is one of her most widely sung hymns. The words inspire us to remember that we are messengers of God, bearing immortal messages to a mortal world.
Heralds of Christ, who bear the King’s commands,
immortal tidings in your mortal hands,
pass on and carry swift the news you bring;
make straight, make straight the highway of the King.
Angels faithfully brought the message of Jesus’ birth and sent others to spread it. We have received the message. Now it is our turn. Carry swift the good news. Jesus the Messiah has come!
Follow the Path!
[Use with Good Tidings of Great Joy, day 35 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]