Daily Prayer: a resource of Forward Movement

The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Saint Michael and All Angels.

Despite the best efforts of greeting card companies to make angels into cute babies, the Bible has other ideas. In the Bible, angels are almost universally terrifying. There is a reason that angels usually begin their encounters with humans by saying, "Do not be afraid." Michael would strike fear into the heart of anyone who encountered him. Mentioned in Daniel and Revelation, Michael the Archangel protects people against evil and leads the righteous armies against Satan.

The word angel comes from the Greek angelos, and it means, literally, "messenger." Throughout the scriptures, angels are sent by God to deliver messages. In the created order, angels exist in the heavenly realm along with cherubim and seraphim. There is no hint in the Bible that people become angels, though popular culture sometimes holds this view.

On this feast day, we remember God's heavenly messengers. And we give thanks that we are able to join with them at each celebration of Holy Eucharist as we sing, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of power and might." Angels remind us of our place in the created order, and they sometimes bear messages for us from God.

Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

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