Sunday, December 29, 2013

Angels and Elephants

The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

--  Luke 1:28

There's an old story about three blindfolded men who were asked to touch and identify an undisclosed object. And that "object" happened to be live African elephant...but no one told them!

The first man touched the elephant's muscular trunk. The second man grasped the elephant's brushy tale. And the third man--moving his hand across the elephant's rugged hide--marveled at the object's rough exterior. Needless to say, each man was totally off the mark when trying to identify the mystery object. A 10,000 pound elephant was right in front of them. But they failed to see the literal big picture.

That's the way it is for many people when it comes to spiritual matters. And it's even true for some long-time Christ-followers. To counter this nearsightedness, God has throughout history communicated His message through prophets, the Bible, the Holy Spirit--and of course--through His Son, Jesus.

But that's not all. God also uses angels to remind us every so often that everything is coming together according to His plan. The hassles of everyday life might obscure this fact, but God really does have it all under control.

Angels are God's special messengers. They can appear in broad daylight, remain invisible or even communicate to us in dreams. And the Bible advises us to be hospitable because we might be entertaining angels without even knowing it. But God's messages through angels are much more than cocktail conversations; they're words that change history. In Matthew's Gospel, angels reveal to Mary that she will soon give birth to the Savior of mankind. Angels also tell Joseph (Mary's fiancée) that he can believe Mary's story about her pregnancy through the Holy Spirit. And angels proclaim the Good News of Jesus' birth to the shepherds who witnessed the bright star hovering over a lowly manger in Bethlehem.

Revelation. Confirmation. Celebration.

That's what God conveys through angels. And not just 2,000 years ago in a dusty little village somewhere in the Middle East. Even today, God's plans continue to unfold as planned and on schedule...and through the lives of every Christ-follower like you and me.  

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