Like one of those picture puzzles for children – Can you spot the real angel in the photos?
First Sunday in Advent and I was leading worship at Upton-by-Chester United Reformed Church. I entered the building to be overwhelmed by a mighty host of heavenly beings – angels from the realms of glory! It was explained that there had been a “Festival of Angels” with church folk, church organisations and people in the community all contributing displays of angels. There were angels constructed of many materials, even copper piping, made by a local plumber! Although what I saw was impressive, I understand that some of the displays had already been taken away. It was as though I was at an Angel Convention!
First Sunday in Advent witnessed the United Reformed Church “Walking the Way.” To get there, we have prayerfully prepared, with words written by each of our synods, which have already focussed our minds on the world which God, loving so much, would come as Jesus Christ. For Advent we have a simple liturgy each Sunday for lighting the Advent Candles. And so at Upton-by-Chester we read of Abraham and Sarah setting out on their Faith journey, trusting God to where they would go.
“The Lord said to Abram: Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you. I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others.” (Genesis 12:1-2)
Abram was 75 years old, but God still gave him hope for the future. However old you are – what steps towards hope will you make this week? We know where we are going on this journey – all the way to Christmas Day!
We asked one of the oldest members of the church, Dorothy, to light the candle. She is the person in the photograph. And the answer to the puzzle? She is the real angel! Though I met many others that morning – the members of the Church called to be angels – messengers of the Good News to their community, and so bringers of Hope.
Let’s be the ANGEL at the heart of EvANGELism! Let the whole world become a convention of angels!