BY REV. PERRY AALGAARD - FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH OF WEST OKOBOJI
2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Has an angel ever shown up in your life? Some see angels as heavenly beings in white radiance with wings or for others it maybe a little cherub with a trumpet and tiny little wings. Movies and TV shows also illustrate many images of angels. So, what does an angel look like, and what does it mean to be an angel? According to the Greek translation, the word we translate as angel is aggelos and it means messenger. In the Bible, when angels came to people, they were always messengers. The angels came to the shepherds, the wise men, and Mary and Joseph in the Christmas story. Angels show up in many of the stories in the Bible. I believe they still show up today.
When was the last time you saw the works or heard the words of an angel? I believe they come to us when we are not really expecting them. They may come in a time of great sorrow, joy or on an ordinary day. Recently, I heard the story of an angel sighting, reminding me to be more aware of the angels around me and about how many times we all fail to appreciate the angels God sends to us.
The story comes from a young woman who was unpacking a drawer full of old letters, cards and papers. Many of these items brought a sense of frustration and anger over the struggles she has had with the sender. It was a very unsettling time for her, yet in the midst of this time of frustration and tears, she found in the corner of the drawer a small book, a Bible. The Bible had a bookmark in it, inscribed with these words.
God sees every tear. No heart breaks alone, for God is always near, and when a prayer is whispered, He's always there to hear … When sorrow's overwhelming, He comforts tenderly. For not a single tear will fall that the Father doesn't see. May you always remember that God loves you. He feels your pain and heartache. And He will never leave you or forsake you. May you find comfort in knowing God sees every tear.
"God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes." Revelation 21:3-4.
This woman — this day — needed to hear those words as she finished cleaning out the drawer. I believe the person who sent her this Bible and bookmark was an angel. This person did not know she would be God’s messenger on this cleaning day, for this gift was given a number of years ago at a different time and place. I believe there are angels among us, bringing God's message for us at just the right time. God knows our tears and cares deeply about us. Sometimes we receive angels unaware and sometimes we are the angels God is sending to brighten someone's day. Lord, help us to see and hear the angels you send to us bringing words of hope, comfort and love!