Christi Baker is a member of The Parish launch team and one of our best friends. She has been with The 410 Bridge for over five years and oversees all major fundraising events. Her gifts and perspective bring so much to our team. She will be leading a Table Group in Dunwoody.
Can you imagine what it must be like to see an angel? I can’t. As much as we’d like to believe that angels are sweet cherubim or even strong, beautiful choral beings… I don’t believe that’s not quite how it is. Angels are the mighty warriors of God who are constantly fighting the invisible spiritual battle that is all around us. In 2 Kings, one angel killed 185,000 men in the Assyrian army in one night. Most times an angel appeared to people, the first thing they had to say was “Do not be afraid” … sometimes on repeat.
Zechariah is no exception. You’ll see in the Luke 1 passage for today that “When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayers have been heard.” I think that Zechariah was afraid not just because he was seeing a heavenly being, but a heavenly WARRIOR who was fearsome and armored and ready for battle.
This knowledge casts a different light on the first Christmas. This was not just a calm, pastoral scene with pregnant peasant teenagers and shepherds and cattle. Sending Jesus to Earth was not only about God becoming man, it was about sneaking the King of Heaven into the enemy’s camp–a surgical strike to infiltrate enemy territory in the most subtle and vulnerable condition.
When the angels appeared to the shepherds in the field (where they were terrified, by the way), saying “Glory to God in the highest”… what if it wasn’t bright lights and glowing dresses and sweet songs? What if it was much more like an army of angels crying out at the top of their lungs, waving swords and declaring the victory cry “GLOOOORRYYYYY to GOOOOOODDD!” (Imagine your best Braveheart impression here: FREEDDDOOOMMMM!)
“Philip Yancey calls the birth of Christ the Great Invasion, ‘a daring raid by the ruler of the forces of good into the universe’s seat of evil.’ Spiritually speaking, this is no silent night. It is D-Day.” – Eldridge, Wild at Heart
The other scriptures today remind us of a side of God that we rarely talk about. Not the loving side that sacrificed His son and altered heaven and earth to be in relationship with us, but the Warrior. The Refuge. The one who can be counted on to leverage his angel armies to deliver a baby into the enemy camp.
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. – Zephaniah 3:17