Angels Among Us

The version of Angels We Have Heard On High in the video above is amazing. It’s The Piano Guys with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The video also includes clips from the world record breaking live nativity with over 1000 angels. It is worth watching.

Angels are so important to the Christmas story. They bring the news to Mary, to Joseph, and to the shepards. Each time it starts out the same. The angels tell them to not be afraid.

Imagine Mary standing there in her home and suddenly there is a man standing behind her. Imagine Joseph, his world collapsing around him as he learns his love is pregnant and he’s not the father. Imagine those shepards, watching over their flocks, settled down for the night and suddenly someone appears shining in the night’s sky.

Do not be afraid was probably the right way to begin. When I think about any of those situations, I know I definitely would have been afraid. In fact, afraid probably isn’t a strong enough word to describe how I would have felt.

These angels knew what to say. They were sent by God to give the best news. They knew there was no reason to to afraid. “You’re going to have a baby, and not just any baby but the Son of God.” “Marry your bride. Together you are going to raise the Savior.” “The Son of God has been born, and you get to be there!”

There was no need to be afraid. These angels were bring the best news ever. They brought cause for celebration. The Son of God was coming to earth!

“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men!'” – Luke 2:10-14

In the song, it says that the mountains echoed the sound of the angels singing the praises of Jesus’s birth. I’m not sure it was just an echo. I can imagine it being such a joyous occasion that even the cries of the mountains could not be contained.

And those shepherds, dirty and tired from tending their sheep, from chasing down the ones that wondered off. They were sitting around thinking it was just another night when suddenly their whole world changed.

I’m not sure what angels look like. When I think of Gabriel appearing to Mary, I imagine him to look like a man you could pass on the street without a second thought. When I think of the shepherds, I picture the classic angel look, the white gowns and wings and light. I’m not sure what they look like, but I know God is still sending them to earth.

I saw one once

It was night, and I was driving a friend home. This involved a lot of county roads with woods and fields, also known as a deer’s best friend. We were just getting off of the main highway which was well lighted. Just as the street lights were coming to an end, I saw something move. It was dark and person shaped but more like a shadow of movement than an actual person.

It bothered me and stuck with me. My friend didn’t see it, I was sure. I didn’t say anything about it, but I kept thinking about what I had seen.

We kept driving and a couple minutes later turned onto a dark county road. Whatever I had seen was really bothering me so I asked my friend if they had seen it. Nope, he had no idea what I was talking about. So I started telling him about it, where it was and what it looked like.

We were driving up a hill, and what I didn’t realize at the time was, while I was telling my story, I had taken my foot off the gas petal. We had drastically slowed down. And as I finished my story we started down the hill. At the bottom of the hill, standing in the middle of the road was the biggest deer I have ever seen.

Had I not seen the figure by the side of the road, had I talked about it right away, had I not taken my foot off the gas, I would not have gotten stopped in time. I have no idea how my little car, my passenger and I would have faired had I hit that deer, but I know it wouldn’t have been good.

And no one will ever convince me that it was anything but someone sent by God that I saw by the road that night. Do not be afraid for God is with you.

Angels among usĀ 

We’ve gone through hard times just like everyone else. Our hardest time felt never ending (although it did end just like everything does). We had to rely on our families a lot. We struggled individually and as a family.

During this hard time, I opened the front door of the house to let more light in through the screen door. I found a shocking surprise. Sitting on our front porch were boxes of food. I stepped out and looked around expecting to see someone.

There was no one there. There was no note included with the food. I have no idea how someone could have gotten those boxes to my front door without any of us seeing anything, especially considering the giant picture window in our living room.

I still don’t know how the food got there, and honestly, it doesn’t matter. Whether it was delivered by someone from earth or not, I believe it was sent by God. Do not be afraid for you are not alone.

I also believe we have angels working with us right on this site. Over on the post Hope For the Holidays, strangers are helping strangers. And maybe all of the givers live on earth or maybe they don’t. Either way, I believe every commenter over there found themselves there through God. Do not be afraid for you are not alone.

This Christmas season watch for the angels. Do not be afraid. They are bringing good tidings of great joy.

Jesus was a baby

With Christmas just days away, Jesus as a baby is especially on my heart. Just think about that. Jesus (GOD!) came to us, to be one of us, to feel and experience what we do as we do, and he came as a baby.

I believe that Jesus could have come as an adult if he had chosen, but he chose to come as a baby. He came as the most helpless and innocent of us. It is amazing.

And this brought me to another thought. One that may make people angry. It brought me around to abortion.

What if the Christmas story didn’t take place 2000 years ago? What if it took place today? What if Mary was a young woman today?

Lets tell that story:

Its just before graduation and Mary’s got a problem. She just found out she’s pregnant. She and her boyfriend have talked about getting married, but they’ve never had sex. (Who’s going to believe that?) She’s pretty sure that an angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her that the baby is from God and coming to save us all, but her parents certainly aren’t going to believe that story.

Not knowing what else to do Mary tells her best girl friend what’s happened. Her friend knows just what to do. She tells Mary not to tell anyone. She knows a place. They’ll take care of this problem. Joseph will never know. The world will never know. It’s no big deal. These things happen. In and out. Easy-peasy. Problem solved.

Think about it.

The argument for abortion is its a woman’s choice or it’s not a baby, a person, until the woman chooses it to be or until it’s born.

Was the child Mary was carrying not a baby, not Jesus, not THE SAVIOR until Mary chose for him to be? Was he not The Christ even before she knew she was pregnant? What if Mary CHOSE that it was too much work to be the mother of Our Savior? Or that it was too much to try and explain this child to her friends and family? Or maybe she just wasn’t ready.

Now I know that every child conceived is not The Lord. However, if you believe that Mary’s child was The Lord before he was born, how can you say that every other child conceived isn’t a child at the moment of conception?

Now I’ve never been in a position where a pregnancy, even unplanned, has been anything but a welcome addition, a moment of joy (even when that moment was followed by pure panic). I don’t know what it feels like to not be overjoyed by the life growing inside me. But I know myself enough to know that there is no decision, no matter the situation.

If you’re reading this and made a decision different than I would have made or that I believe is right, I want you to know that I love you. Even if I don’t know you I love you. I believe you made the wrong choice. I hate the choice you made, but that does not change my feelings about you.

God knew me before I was born. He knew me before I was conceived. Jesus was a person before Mary knew she was pregnant and so was every other baby. It’s one way or the other.

As you get together with your families and celebrate Jesus’s birthday, as you hear the Christmas story, as you look at your nativity sets and exchange gifts, remember that Jesus came as a baby. And he was alive before he took his first breath.

Jesus was a baby.