Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Witness: The Angel
The summons was wordless.
I knew, simply.
I journeyed to complete, with the others, what we had been commanded to do.
I was not to be sent to kings or nobles, nor to merchants or the wealthy or even shopkeepers and innkeepers.
I was sent to the true descendants of David, those who knew and hoped, those who held steadfast like David had. It was no coincidence that those with hearts after God’s own would be found in the hills around the City of David.
As David had been found.
I startled those shepherds and told them not to fear. They sensed, correctly, the one who had sent me.
I spoke but few words, stark in the plainness and simplicity. Not because I spoke to plain and simple men, but because the moment spoke for itself; it needed no elaborate explanation.
I spoke the message of God in the language of men.
Yet even as I spoke, I knew to speak the words is not to live the words, is not be the words.
The others arose behind me, and the worship of God filled their voices, spilling over into the shepherds’ ears and hearts. We sang to those who knew.
Then we were gone, stunning the shepherds with the suddenness of the leaving, as if we had overcome the night and then vanished within it.
It was by divine design that he used his warriors to speak and sing. I am a warrior in the service of my commander.
I and the others surrounded that family, that night and many to follow. No human saw me at the stable, but I, too, fell to my knees and wept in worship.
A little later, I whispered into the ear of the man to flee to Egypt. He recognized my voice from before.
Much later, as measured in shepherd’s time, we were recalled, and legion was set loose, for three days.
I was then sent back.
To roll away the stone.
Related: Witness: The Innkeeper
Witness: The Shepherd
Witness: The Man from the East
Painting: Angels announcing Christ's birth to the shepherds by Govert Flinck (1639); Louvre, Paris (public domain).