Submitted by Andrea Gerhard
In our faith walk, we often key in on our relationship with God and knowing Jesus, but we do not always take time to ponder the other realms of God’s kingdom and His plan. One of the areas we do not often discuss or explore is the role of Angels. Since this question has recently been presented, Pastor Wray Offermann will spend the next few weeks exploring the role of Angels in the Sunday morning Pastor’s Class (Sundays at 9:20am in the Great Room – 2nd Floor at SPL).
As he posed the question of what our perceptions or thoughts were on Angels this morning, it did indeed make me more curious and also open my eyes about the different ways God uses His servants as part of His great plan. First I was reminded of the picture that hung in our house when I was growing up (that now also sits on my daughter’s nightstand in a much smaller version). It depicts a ‘guardian angel’ carefully guiding and protecting two small children, a girl and boy, as they cross over treacherous waters on a humble bridge. Having a younger brother myself and often feeling protective of him, that picture always provided me with a sense of peace and comfort that I was not alone in watching out for those who came after me, and I was being watched over in the process too. Thinking that God had something there just for me as an extra measure of His love and protection over me certainly reassured me many times as I grew up.
As Pastor Wray shared several instances in scripture where Angels are discussed in a variety of ways (Matthew 18:10, Hebrews 13:2, 2 Peter 2:4, Psalm 91, etc.), it reminded me also of how we have often read pieces of scripture without completely grasping the impact of what has been written. Thinking on the passages that were shared, I thought to take it one step further and simply do a keyword search on Bible Gateway for “Angel”. Page after page after page of references came back in the search results. These books of the Bible contain multiple references to Angels:
Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Daniel, Hosea, Zechariah
New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, Hebrews, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Jude, Revelation
Now you and I have probably read passages from many or all of these areas of the Bible, but seeing it listed out like this really opened my eyes about how present these servants of the Lord are and were at some of the critical moments in the history of creation and mankind and still are present today.
This also had me thinking about the different ways Angels are represented and even discussed in the Bible – there are some descriptions of their presence at different moments (like the Angels present at the tomb after Jesus rose from the dead), and there are images our culture has created (like the Hollywood/TV/Movie versions). What is your feeling about Angels? Have you ever experienced a sense of presence or have ideas about what an Angel ‘looks like’?
If you are hungry for learning and study and would be curious to explore this more in depth, I would encourage you also to spend some time in Pastor’s Class the next few weeks and take this journey with Pastor Wray. You may have questions answered, you may have more questions, but it is a great way to connect with all the ways in which our Heavenly Father loves us, cares for us, and protects us and uses His servants well.
In the meantime, as we seek to understand more about Angels, take a look at what the LCMS shares with us HERE.