Luke 1:26-56; Ezekiel 34; Isaiah 58
Somehow we have this picture of angels as wandering around in halos and white bathrobes with sweet smiles on their faces. They flit from cloud to cloud, playing their harps and everything is sweetness and light. In truth, however, angels are fearful beings. In most every instance that they appear they recipient of the visit hears the words: “Do not be afraid.” Zacharias learned not to question the pronouncement of these messengers of God. And yet, when Mary is told that she would bear Jesus, she questioned the angel. “Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’” (Luke 1:34) The angel, instead of blasting her into silence explained the situation. So why is it that Zacharias got the silent treatment and Mary got an explanation? Zacharias was told that his prayers were answered and he questioned the angel. Rather than accept an answer from God, he, a priest, questioned God. Mary, on the other hand, had not been praying to get pregnant. She wasn’t married yet, and she was still a virgin. Mary didn’t receive an answer to prayer – she was told something that if true could upset her whole life depending on Joseph’s reaction. Given the explanation, Mary responded appropriately: “If you say this is true, I’m God’s servant!” Most of us haven’t seen angels. We have heard God speak through others, though. Sometimes we don’t recognize it right away. At other times we do. The key is that when we recognize that God has sent us a message, we should obey immediately. Our angels may not be the fearsome messengers of the Bible, but the joy we get when following God’s call on our lives is amazing.
Dear Lord, I don’t know if I could handle a visit from an angel. I do ask that You reveal Your messages to me so that I can obey them and experience that joy. Let me recognize Your voice in my life whether it be from a fearsome angel or out of the mouth of a babe. Help me to be sensitive to Your call on my life.