If you’ve ever read, “The Best Christmas Pageant, Ever!” by Barbara Robinson, you’ll remember how the nativity was portrayed by the five Herdman children – the worst kids in town. The only reason they came to Sunday School was for the snacks.
Gladys, the youngest, wanted to play the part of the Angel of the Lord, because she figured it was the best part. After all – out of nowhere – there she was in the middle of everything – Shazam! Kind of like a super hero with magical powers.
It makes me wonder who was the Angel of the Lord anyway? How do you refer to this angel? Do you simply call her “Angel of the Lord.” Do you greet her by saying, “How’s it going, Angel of the Lord?”
As this story unfolds we see a little family who has been deserted by their father and their mother works two jobs to keep them alive. They are well known by the welfare department as well as the police and fire departments. This tight knit group of hooligans is bound together tightly and the Christmas story is new to them, but it kind of fits their lifestyle.
Jesus was born in a difficult time – in poverty – in a time in history filled with sin and corruption. His little family was cast aside by relatives, who thought Mary and Joseph had betrayed their premarital vows of chastity. They had no money, no one to turn to and yet they faithfully carried out the work God.
There are many families who struggle through life like that today.. They try to make ends meet. They sometimes take the wrong path in life and get in trouble, but we know that Jesus didn’t come into this world to save the good guys. Actually there’s no such thing. We all share that commonality of inherited sin. In the midst of family trouble, there is hope. We know that even though we have sinful, guilty hearts, Jesus became a human to take our place – to be the final sacrifice for sin. We all have been gifted with that. No matter what our plight in this life, we’ve been given a life assurance policy from the Son of God.
Angels don’t speak to us today like they did before the Bible was actually written, but if they did, you can bet we’d sit up and take notice. Still I wonder what it would be like to talk to the Angel of the Lord. Someday, I’ll get the chance.