Angels we have heard: Christmas Eve

December 25, 2015

 Every year I wonder, what can I possibly say that would be new?  I know that there is really nothing new to say, but I still try to find new ways to share the message of the birth of Christ.  This year I decided to try to imagine what it would be like watching the events from heaven.  The following is a conversation between two angels.  One angel is in italics.  I also have a video and will post that soon.

—————-the story begins———– 

“Oh my….have you heard? Tonight is the night.  The whole heavenly host is going down to visit our Lord’s people on earth.”

“Has that ever happened?”

“Not that I know of.  Sometimes, our Lord has sent down one, or two or three of his messengers to deliver his holy word, but never an entire army, a heavenly host.”

Will they bring their swords? Will there be a great battle?  I know that our Lord is most displeased.

You are right.  Our Lord is angry.  We have all heard him ranting and raving.  It’s just like when he watches sports: “Why are they doing that again?  How many times have I told them not to do that?”  When he is angry, it gets tense.  Once I went down myself to see what was going on.  It was bad.  I don’t know why people are acting like this.  It’s like they don’t even believe anymore.

I heard Gabriel went down several months ago and talked to someone. The heavenly choirs have been talking about it ever since.  You know how choirs are….Do you know why he went?”

 Well, I have heard something, but it doesn’t make any sense. They say he went to talk to a young woman named Mary.  He told her that she was going to bear the Son of God.  But that does not make any sense.  That seems like a drastic measure.  To send the Son of God down as a baby is risky.  Anything could happen.  It’s not safe.  Maybe that is why the heavenly host is going down.  They will be the body guards for the baby.

 Shhh….it’s happening now. 

 Wait…..who are they talking to?  Are they talking to shepherds?  Why are they talking to shepherds?  No one is going to get the message if they are talking to shepherds. No one listens to shepherds.

 Shhhh….we won’t be able to hear it if you keep jabbering.

Trumpet fanfare. An angel from the choir loft proclaims:

“Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:  to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 

Choir says together:
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

What could they mean? Why are they bringing joy? I thought God was disappointed.  This does not make any sense.

It does seem a little odd. Why send an army of angels to deliver that kind of message?  And what kind of sign is that….a baby in a manger?  Surely an army of angels could have done anything.

 They should have done that moving fire that our Lord used to lead Moses and his people out of Egypt.  Fire always gets people’s attention.  What is a little baby going to do?

Our Lord likes to think outside of the box.  Maybe since nothing else has really worked, he decided to shake things up a bit.  I am sure this baby is more than just your average baby, not that all babies aren’t always cute, but this is the Son of God.

 What was it again that Gabriel told the girl…Mary?


He told her that she would conceive a son, and she will name him Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.

 Woh! That is huge news.  This Mary must be very powerful.  She must be a married to a king.

 That’s the thing, she is not married.  She is young and has very little.  She is a peasant.  But I have heard that she is very holy.  She is one of God’s favorites.  Our Lord told me that she has been especially chosen.

 That is a huge job.  Hey look, the shepherds are moving.  They looked pretty scared when all those angels were talking. Angels can be a little showy at times.  They really like to make an entrance.  No wonder the shepherds were terrified. 

 Just because you did not get chosen is no reason to be critical.  They needed to be sure to get their attention.  How else would you convince a bunch of shepherds that the savoir of humanity is about to be born to an unmarried peasant in a barn?  I mean really, you can’t make this stuff up.

 I hope they find him.

 I am sure our Lord will make sure they do.  Obviously he wanted those shepherds to be the first to greet the new baby.  Wait….it really is barn.  Do you see the baby?

 They put our Lord’s son, the hope of all humanity, in animal feeding trough?  What are they thinking?
I think it is all that they have.  Our Lord chose Mary because she is holy and good, not because she has money or power.

The shepherds are talking to them.  They have seen the Christ child. One of them is leaning over the manger in wonder.  They are so excited! They are telling them everything they saw, everything the angels told them.  They are doing a good job telling the story.  I heard shepherds are good story tellers.  It looks like Mary and Joseph are listening. Look at Mary.  She seems so wise, so pure and good.  I think I understand why our Lord chose her over a queen.  Now the shepherds are leaving.  They are making quite a raucous with their loud shouts and praises for our Lord.  That is how it should always be.  Our Lord should always be praised with such wild abandon.  Hopefully they will share the good news with the people.

 Maybe that is why our Lord chose these regular people to bear witness to this miracle. This is why he chose a baby to be his representative on earth.  It is the only way people are going to hear.  If they listen, they will come to know God as we know God.

 Do you think the baby will be safe?

 I don’t know if he will be safe.  I am sure Mary and Joseph will keep him safe for as long as they can, but as soon as people realize who he is, as soon as he starts sharing God’s message, he is no longer safe.  

 Maybe God will send the heavenly host down when things get dangerous. Our Lord can protect anyone.

 I don’t think that’s his plan this time around.  I think Jesus will grow up with the people and he will love them just as our Lord loves them.  Maybe our Lord realized that the other ways of communicating with his people wasn’t really working.  They needed to experience our Lord’s love up close and personal.

 It cannot be safe.  I am worried for him. What if it doesn’t work?

 Even we do not know what will come of this, but our Lord has a plan.  It’s a different kind of plan than we are used to.  It’s so crazy, it might just work.

I hope the people listen this time.

I do too. 

Priest to the congregation:

The plan will only work if they people will listen. Will you, the people of St. John’s, listen on this Christmas Eve?