Thursday, April 22, 2010
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. Matthew 4:8-11
Popular culture is fascinated with angels. Earl is one very earthy angel on "Saving Grace" and the movie "Dogma" featured two handsome fallen angels we all found a way to care about. We thrill after books talking about angels and demons, and yet we rarely talk about our real or perceived understanding of such things. Today we read the story of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness which features both the Devil and Angels, the devil being an angel himself, a fallen angel. Oh how we ache for an ethereal presence which would swoop down in our worst moments. And oh, how often we dance and delight in fallen angels and wonder why we get burned. I am convinced that the presence of God in this world is much more complicated than we can understand. And we also rarely ask God for understanding and strength- we ask for our troubles to be put aside. We want angels, sweet, neutral, cherubic saviors but we don't want to wrestle with the fullness and falseness of our own humanity.
Today, instead of praying for divine intervention, I ask God to let me be one of those who ministers to others. God has given us the power to be presence of Christ in this world. We can, if we are willing, be angels to those in need around us. God's spirit is willing to enliven all of us to serve the people nearby who have been tempted and tried near breaking. May we all be willing to be angels today and serve others knowing in doing so, we are serving Christ.