Archive for September 29th, 2017

Everlasting God, You have ordained and constituted the service of angels and men in a wonderful order. Mercifully grant that, as Your holy angels always serve and worship You in heaven, so by Your appointment they may also help and defend us here on earth; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

About St. Michael and All Angels:   The name of the archangel St. Michael means “Who is like God?” Michael is mentioned in the Book of Daniel (12:1), as well as in Jude (v. 9) and Revelation (12:7). Daniel portrays Michael as the angelic helper of Israel who leads the battle against the forces of evil. In Revelation, Michael and his angels fight against and defeat Satan and the evil angels, driving them from heaven. Their victory is made possible by Christ’s own victory over Satan in His death and resurrection, a victory announced by the voice in heaven: “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come” (Revelation 12:10). Michael is often associated with Gabriel and Raphael, the other chief angels or archangels who surround the throne of God. Tradition names Michael as the patron and protector of the Church, especially as the protector of Christians at the hour of death. (The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

Lessons: Daniel 10: 10-14  Psalm 91   Revelation 12: 7-12  St. Matthew 18: 1-11 or St. Luke 10: 17-20

Reflection:  Living in St. Louis, Missouri, one of my favorite names for a church was Holy Guardian Angels.  

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”  St. Matthew 18: 10

There is no Scripture reference to the Lord’s direct assignation of a guardian angel for His baptized little ones but His Christians have, “…their angels”.  They are in service to every Christian. 
When we grow older and go our own way, that is, walk in the ways of our calling, God also  commands His angels concerning us:

For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone. (Ps.91)

When we die they carry us to the bosom of Abraham:

22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.The rich man also died and was buried (Luke 16: 22).

Again, the Lord’s angels serve us:

14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (Heb. 1: 14)

The angels behold the face of God, who is pure and holy love,  (1 John 4: 8).  So we can see that every time in the Bible an angel appears to a son of Adam or a daughter of Eve there is fear.  God’s judgment is terrible and His pure and holy love is ever more awesome, pure and clean, reflected in his messengers, his angels.  No wonder when Isaiah saw the sight of the cherubim, he cried out, Alas, I am man of unclean lips (Isaiah 6: 1ff). No sinner can look upon an angel for long and the Son came to redeem our fallen love; and since the Son is superior to the angels  (Heb.  1: 4), together with us serve the Lord and so serve us here on earth to do, “angels work  below” (“We Give Thee But Thine Own”, LSB #781).  John knew the pure beauty of an angel and so fell in worship:  

Revelation 19:   The angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

We do not worship, including invoke the angels in prayer, since they worship the Lord with us, “…with angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven”(Divine Service, Proper Preface). The angel said to John, I am your fellow servant with you and the whole church. 

A mistaken notion is that angels are people who have ‘earned their wings’.   This is not Biblical as the angels are created by the Lord as we are.  We do say of someone who is special, you are an angel.  This is a warm sentiment, but Revelation 19 passage points to something else about our being “angels” with the angelic host serving with us.  The word “angel” literally means  “messenger”.  The angel said to John that with him and the Church we “hold to the testimony of Jesus”.  We confess with the angels the true faith and doctrine of Christ and witness together.  We can tell of Christ and thus be a messenger of the Most High, an angel to and with someone else needing the Gospel, the testimony of Jesus.  The Lord grant that His Church be angels of Christ, with his holy guardian angels serving with us in these dark days!

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