Saturday, December 11, 2010

12 days of Christmas - Day 2: Angels

The Angel's Announcements

Luke 1:19, Luke 1:26-38, Luke 2:9

Everyone in heaven knew that Jesus was about to be born, but I wonder if Gabriel wasn't a bit let down by the plan of announcing His birth. To only tell an old, unknown priest, an aged, barren woman, a young woman, a poor carpenter and a hillside of shepherds of the coming of the Messiah, the King of Kings? Surely it should be more majestic than this. Get the media involved, inform the political figures of the day. But no, these few unknowns were the right ones for God's plan... just as you and I are the right ones to carry out God's plan today. He picks ordinary people like you and me to send forth and make the Savior known to the world.

The angel was Gabriel – his name geber-el means mighty man, or warrior, of God – thus it may be more appropriate to think of him not with wings and a halo, but dressed in the whole armor of God.

Joseph Smith taught that Gabriel was the prophet Noah in mortality. Why Noah? My brother Doug Holt suggests that since Noah was the prophet who presided over the baptism of the earth, it was appropriate that he announce the birth of John the Baptist to Zacharias in the temple. Noah and John, in mortality, each act in the role of forerunner to the Lord, Him who was anointed to preside over the earth's baptism by fire. Perhaps Noah/Gabriel came because he had presided over a judgment, when everyone on earth was judged. The righteous were taken up with Zion, the city of Enoch; the wicked died in the flood. Noah then led the earth through a re-birth, as it came forth from the water a new creation. Christ will preside over the judgment of the earth when all will be judged at the end of time. The wicked will then die in a world-wide judgment of fire, the righteous will be taken up to meet the Lord. The earth will be born again and come forth in her millennial, paradisiacal glory.

Angel Christmas Ornament

For more on Angels, you might want to read :

Temple Themes in Luke’s Account of the Angels and the ShepherdsJeffrey Bradshaw
Meridian Magazine, 17 December 2009.

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