‘When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going, and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven’. Acts 1: 9-11
Just imagine being one of the disciples; by this time, they must be punch-drunk with the super-natural, spiritual realm that is becoming part of their lives. Jesus, alive again, coming and going into locked rooms without using the door and key; with them again, teaching them, encouraging them. Then he is gone. They must have stood there for some time, and who can blame these men? Next thing, two men dressed in white are suddenly there with them.
People say they believe in angels, but, I think, sometimes confuse them with a fairy godmother figure. We may be fascinated by the idea of heavenly beings, but do we really believe they are around us? As Christians, when we pray, we may visualise Jesus standing by us, comforting and upholding us, but angels are often very much part of the Bible stories we know so well, and, no doubt about it, they have their part to play in God’s plan for us. ‘Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?’ (Hebrews 1: 14)
Two of the books I have re-read since lockdown are by Frank Peretti: This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. From his writing, I’d say he is a conservative evangelical, but, wow, his novels depict the spiritual world in an astounding way.
It can be so hard for us humans, in our one dimensional understanding, to visualise that the spiritual world is not separate from the world we know. So this week, as we will be looking at the spiritual realm and angels, I’d like you to think about this extract from Piercing the Darkness:
‘Nathan, Armoth and the other warriors made a low, slow pass over the farmhouse… Nathan gave the others a signal, and with an explosive surge of their wings they shot forward, etching the evening sky with streaks of light. The fields below them passed by with the swiftness of a thought, then the green canopy of the forest swallowed them up…… With wings snapping full like opening parachutes, they came to a halt. The moment their feet touched down, the lightening glimmer of their tunics faded to a dull white, their fiery swords cooled to copper, and their wings folded and vanished’. (p15,16)
Let’s pray today that God will increase our understanding of the wonder of all he has made, and all he has done, and will continue to do in our lives. I hope you will join me again tomorrow, as we explore the angels in the Bible.
God bless you.