Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Broken Angels

It has begun.  I was determined it wouldn't.  Despite all my preparations to the contrary, the busiest week of the year has descended on me.  Hence, I'm writing a post to relieve my weary feet and veg for a bit. (In hopes that you might also find a moment to read it!)

We planned Christmas to be fairly simple--no traveling, no company, and no big parties to host. We simplified that we might rest . . . and worship. However, I still find myself drawn to the motherly urge to make things perfect for my family.

I recently picked up a favorite glass angel to hang on our tree, and its wing fell off.  Last year this same angel shattered and I meticulously glued it back together.  My thoughts drifted to the angels of heaven.  I wonder if we break their hearts?  I wonder if angels hurt?

Angels long to look into our great salvation. (1 Pet. 1:12)  A favorite Christmas carol says it well, "you who sang creation's story, now proclaim Messiah's birth..." Every time I hear that phrase I think of how glorious it must have been to hear the angels sing!  To witness, from heaven's perspective, the greatest event in human history. . . God made into flesh.  And all to restore broken relationship with mankind.  Simply amazing!

Do angels ache with pain when they see how we celebrate Christmas? What do they think of our activity? Going to this party or that rehearsal.  Endless shopping and decking the halls to exhaustion.  And all the while ignoring His still small voice.  How do I treat this precious gift of all gifts, the pearl of great price?

God has gotten my attention lately.  He often speaks to me through the lessons I prepare for young children each week. Last weekend was one of those moments.  It was a familiar story... Zechariah, Elizabeth, John.  I was drawn to John's life purpose . . . to prepare the people for their Messiah.  And I was keenly aware of my own heart and its need to be prepared for Christmas, prepared for worship . . . for Jesus Himself.

Angels came to common shepherds bringing, "good news of great joy which shall be for all the people...a Savior...Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10,11)  What great encouragement must have been the angel's words to those who were awaiting the Messiah.  And yes, there were some who were looking . . . prepared.  Ready hearts to receive such news.

As I think of John, that man who made the desert his home, I'm reminded of my own heart's wanderings, a wilderness of Christmas hype.  How I need to prepare a highway for God in my heart, a place where He can easily roam, abide, dwell.  And as I do, the presence of Jesus settles in like the soft drizzle of gentlest rain,  "Comfort, comfort my people, says your God...A voice of one calling . . ."  (Isa. 40:1,3)

I don't know if  theologians would say it is good angel philosophy, but I can't help but think that angel's hearts might be saddened at our response to the song they sang 2,000 plus years ago.  And I know God's heart hurts at the empty way we push Him out.

This came home to me a few years ago at another Christmas when circumstances were far different than they are today.  Broken ornaments were not the tragedy, but rather broken people. (A story for another post soon to come)  A lesson I had not taken lightly . . . yet here, last week, I had momentarily forgotten, until once again I stop and gaze at the Christ child in a manger . . . preparing my heart for Christmas.

 May I never lose the wonder.  

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men, 
on whom His favor rests." 
(Luke 2:14)


  1. I like this post a lot. It can be so difficult to slow down and focus on what God has done for us. Interesting thoughts about the angels. I would imagine they do have sadness for the way we gloss over the true meaning of Christmas.

  2. Yes, I'm seeking to let go of the fluff of the season and liking it a lot. Those same things that used to stress me out all the time, now don't really matter. Instead I'm finding my heart swept up in moments of refreshing.