Thursday, December 11, 2008

Angels, the Message Bearers

(Luke 1:26-33, Matthew 1:20-22 Luke 2:8-14)

God chose his angels to carry the good news of Christ’s birth to the people of Judea.

The angel Gabriel visited Mary, a young girl from a poor family. The news he shared with this young girl was the first word from God in 400 years .There had been no prophets, no angels, nothing. And now an angel appeared to the most unlikely person--a young peasant girl.

An angel appeared to a confused Joseph in a dream. This heavenly visitor told him the child his fiancĂ©e carried was from the Holy Spirit. The visitor also instructed him as to his role in this child’s life and even told this lowly carpenter the name chosen for the Holy child.

On the night of Jesus’ birth, an angel came to the shepherds. The heavenly being spread light all over the dark field where the shepherds tended their flocks. The angelic words comforted the hearers. He told of the birth of the Christ child in the nearby town of Bethlehem. A great host of angels, praising God, filled the dark winter sky

Angels --God’s message bearers--carried the good news to the principles in the story. Mary didn’t know how to react at first. But she finally surrendered to God’s will.

The angelic visit to Joseph changed the course he would follow in this chain of events. The angel and the heavenly host gave a special blessing to the shepherds on that wondrous night so long ago. God chose them to be the first to hear the good news of Christ’s birth.

Monday, December 8, 2008


(Matthew 1:18-25)

Joseph--a carpenter in Nazareth kept his eye on a young girl named Mary. When he felt the time appropriate, he spoke to her father about marriage. Mary’s father conveyed Joseph’s request for her hand in marriage to his wife. Joseph departed their home very happy--they blessed the betrothal.
A short time later, Mary journeyed to Judea to visit her family’s relative, Elizabeth. Mary stayed there three months. Upon her return to Nazareth, she and Joseph had a long talk. Joseph learned his beloved Mary was with child.

This news confused him. The law said they were to go through a one-year engagement--a time of chasteness. Also it set out a severe punishment if the couple or even if just the woman violated the rule. The woman would face being stoned. But he loved Mary. He was a righteous man. He thought about quietly breaking the engagement.

One night, as Joseph slept, an angel appeared to him. The angel told Joseph the child Mary carried was a child conceived by the Holy Spirit. He chose to obey the angel and stay engaged to Mary.

While in Bethlehem, Joseph again saw an angel. The angel forewarned him of the danger awaiting them if they returned to Nazareth. This time the angel instructed Joseph to take his tiny family and flee to Egypt.

In a few short months Joseph received guidance from God’s angel two times. Both of these times he obeyed the heavenly messenger, thereby protecting the Christ Child and Mary.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...