Angel's Good News

This devotional is written by Matt Coombs. Matt is one of the leaders at St Mary's and is married to Pip.

Luke 2:8-14

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."


What does an angel look like?

Well thanks to Raphael and his other Renaissance painter chums you are probably imagining a chubby winged baby, right? Or perhaps shiny white robe with a halo?

Have you ever noticed how people in the Christmas story respond to angels when they show up?

When the Angel Gabriel visits Mary, he tell her, "do not be afraid."

In other words, Mary is looking a tad shocked or distressed at his appearance.

Here, in Luke 2, we read that these shepherds who fought off bears and lions with sticks and stones for a living were "terrified' when they saw the angel.

Perhaps our picture of chubby cherubs or cute versions of Cupid isn't quite correct...

Luke writes that as this angel is sharing the news of Jesus' birth with the shepherds, that suddenly, "a great company or multitude of the heavenly host appeared" Again, you might be thinking of a massive white robed choir each with harps and songbooks.

However, the word "host" is best understood to mean a "military encampment" or a "band of soldiers".

God had sent his army to announce that the Messiah had arrived and the rescue mission for humanity had begun.

This army had no intention of dethroning Caesar in Rome or removing a corrupt High Priest in Jerusalem. They weren't about to wipe out the Roman army or restore Israel as a world super power. They had arrived to announce "a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger"-- an unexpected way for God's rescue mission to begin.

No Comments