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Archive for September 29th, 2012

A blessed St. Michael’s and All Angels!

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Let us pray:

everlasting God, whose wise planning has ordained and constituted the ministry of men and angels in a wonderful order, mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve you in heaven, so by your appointment they may also help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Lessons:

Daniel 10: 10-14

Psalm 91

Revelation 12: 7-12

St. Matthew 18: 1-11 or St. Luke 10: 17-20

Intro:  “There’s more than what meets the eye” is apropos on today’s feast day of St. Michael and All Angels.  We think what we see and know and feel is all of reality. It’s not.  As we confess in The Nicene Creed, the Lord is the Creator of all things “visible and invisible” and with His angels He protects us even when we are not looking.  Below is a reflection by Rev. Professor Johann Gerhard (October 17, 1582 – August 17, 1637), the great Father of Lutheran Orthodoxy on the angels (as cited The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House):

What is the [angels’] attitude toward men? This the Lord Christ reveals with one word when He calls them “their angels,” that is, angels of the little ones, the servants of the children and all believers. . . . They render this service to every Christian in manifold ways. While we are children, God assigns our angels to us, as Christ tells us in the holy gospel. When we grow older and go our own way, that is, walk in the ways of our calling, God also assigns angels to us (Ps. 91:11,12). When we sleep, the angels watch and protect us against the devil. When we die, they carry our soul to Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22). Their protection is ours through life….

Why is that the angels readily serve the believers though they are much nobler and higher than we?

  1.  Because they are confirmed in the good and therefore gladly and fully obey God’s will. God’s will and order is that they serve us (Heb. 1:14). The army of the heavens—sun, moon, and stars—maintain their order given them by God for man’s sake. All the more will the heavenly army of the holy angels maintain its order.
  2.  Because our nature is raised in Christ above all angels and archangels (Eph. 1:20, 21; Heb. 1:4). Therefore the angels do not refuse to serve us men, in honor of the human nature assumed by Christ. As an entire race is brought to honor by a marriage, so the marriage of the Son of God with humanity has restored the human race to honor (Matt. 22:2). What wonder, then, that the angels serve us, since the Son of God, the Lord of the angels, came to earth that He might serve us?
  3.  Because love is pure and perfect in them, the angels joyfully serve us, as does the Lord, who Himself is Love (1 John 4:8), in whose image the angels were created, and who declared: “I will rejoice in doing them good” (Jer. 32:41).
  4.  Finally, because we shall someday be with them in heaven and join their choir in praising God, the angels are happy to serve us here on earth.

For more on St. Michael and All Angels, search this blog.

 

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