Meditation

Angels are a tricky thing, these days. Amid images of rosy-cheeked cherubs and androgynous, achingly beautiful winged figures, most people I have discussed the matter with either don't believe in angels or are carefully unsure about the matter. I often find myself likewise struggling to make sense of these beings who crop up again and again in our tradition. When we set aside the clichéd trappings and metaphors, what do we mean when we talk about angels? I think it's important to remember that the word used for "angel" in the New Testament is the Greek aggelos (ἄγγελος), which simply means messenger. It builds on the Hebrew tradition of malak (מַלְאָך) found in the Old Testament, and they have almost exactly the same meaning. Once we begin to think more broadly about all of the different ways that the Divine reaches out to us, offering manifold forms of guidance, then the possibility of believing in angels begins to sound a little more feasible to me. In fact, one of my friends in college once described her "Post-It Note Theory" to me, and it's become something of a touchstone for my personal theology. She argued that God begins communicating to her by placing a metaphorical Post-It in her path. If she fails to see said note, as we often do, then the Divine message escalates a little, becoming a figurative paper airplane and so on and so forth. This process continues until she is made to see what God has been setting before her the whole time, even if it has to continue all the way to a personal, holy neon sign. This week, as we prepare to celebrate Social Media Sunday 2016 and the angels of Christianity, I invite you to look around yourself with new eyes. What angels have you been missing in your life? Where might God be using you as an angel for someone else? After all, who knows what face, what hands, or, yes, even what pixels might be hiding a little guidance from our Lord and Savior.

--Joseph Wood, Assistant Rector