Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Fourth of Advent 2015 - Angels Hovering 'Round

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo DSCF7547_zps481efgef.jpg


The Fourth of Advent 2015 - Angels Hovering 'Round


For the past 3 weeks we have been learning more about the nativity and those who visited Jesus' birth.  Three weeks ago we studied the basics of the "Nativity" and then: "The Lowly Life of the Shepherd" and last week Wealthy Wise Men Traveling Far. Today we are going to focus on the Angels that were sent by God. 
Who witnessed these Angels?:


1.  Joseph
He was visited by an angel in a dream
"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.  His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.  Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.'  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' - which means, 'God with us.'  When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.  But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son.  And he gave him the name Jesus."    Matthew 1: 18 - 25


2.  Mary
She was visited by the archangel Gabriel
"In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.' Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.' 'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?' The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.' 'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said.' Then the angel left her. Luke 1:26 to 38


3.  Shepherds
At first, the Shepherds were visited by one angel but then a large group of angels appeared with that first angel.  It is even described in detail that the "glory of the Lord shone around them."
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.'  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."  Luke 2: 8-20


4.  Magi
Technically "angels" are not mentioned below but it does say that they were "warned in a dream" about not going home the way they came.  So most likely they were warned by an angel in their dream just as Joseph saw an angel in his dream.
"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.'  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.  'In Bethlehem in Judea' they replied, 'for this is what the prophet has written:

But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.' 
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, 'Go and make a careful search for the child.  As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.'  After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with this mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.  And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route." 
Matthew 2: 1 - 12







by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo DSCF7555_zpsczr8ghc1.jpg


Please listen to this beautiful hymn below "There are Angels Hovering 'Round"  sung by Garrison Keillor

Special thanks to "#GarrisonKeillor" for sharing this with us on YouTube

The Fourth of Advent from previous years:

(click on the titles below to view previous Third of Advent posts on this blog)
2012 - The First Noel
2013 - We Three Kings of Orient Are
2014 - It Came Upon a Midnight Clear



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