“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David” (Luke 2:26).
I have read this Scripture many times and maybe taken a few things for granted. Angels are in the Bible so we would expect to read about them there, right? However, the last record of an angel on earth before Gabriel visited Mary is in the third chapter of Daniel (700 years had passed) when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in the fiery furnace.
An angel visited Joseph with whom Mary was pledged in marriage to, and encouraged him to take Mary as his wife. An angel visited Zechariah the priest and husband of Elizabeth to announce the birth of John the Baptist. An angel announced to the shepherds in the fields that a Savior was born in Bethlehem. Then a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:8-17).
THINK ABOUT IT
Angels are heavenly beings who carry announcements or encouraging messages. They are not people. They do not become people and people do not become angels when they die and go to heaven. Yet God uses people in much the same way that He uses angels–to bless, comfort and encourage us. The birth of Jesus is when God left heaven, became man and dwelt among us. It seems majestic to think of angels accompanying Him on the first Christmas. Although He lived on earth thirty-three years, He promised He would always be with us through the power of the Holy Spirit. He will never leave us. This is good news to share at Christmas.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Almighty God, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, thank you for leaving heaven to come to earth and show us how to live for God. We cannot do this on our own and need your help. Empower us with your word and your light and mercy to fulfill your will and purpose on earth. In your great name, we pray, Amen.