Appearance of a Guardian Angel

Posted in: Spirituality by bill-o on December 25, 2008

I will admit that it is not really possible to “prove” or “disprove” the appearance of angels in the world today. The appearance of supernatural beings is really beyond the realm of scientific proof and measurement. However, that being said, you might also find this to be an inspirational story about the appearance of a guardian angel.

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Born the King of Angels

Posted in: Spirituality by bill-o on

Many things must be unlearned if one is to fully experience the subtle majesty of the stories of the gospels. For people such as ourselves, Westerners living in the post-Enlightenment era, a mode of life and thinking that is now foreign to us was fully accepted during the time of the ancients. For example, a belief in supernatural beings like gods, goddesses, angels, and demons was considered normal during the life and times of Jesus and his disciples.

When the Midaeval missionaries first encountered the tribes of northern and eastern Europe, the chief question that each of the tribal leaders had for them was this: “Is your god stronger than our gods?” Their questions were not: “Does God exist?”, “Does God care about us?”, or “Why should I care about God?” Rather, the tribes assumed that the Christian evangelists had a god and were representing him.

Stepping back further in time, look closely at the state of mind of Pontius Pilate in regards to the trial of Jesus. Pilate, the historical record tells us, was a man who did not flinch from dispensing tough justice, even to the point of mass executions. Because of this, modern scholars are puzzled by Pilate’s hesitancy to dispatch Jesus to his death (although he ultimately did just that). Yet to a pre-modern leader like Pilate, the possibility that Jesus might be divine led to a caution to dispense justice. Pilate took the dream of his wife seriously, at least seriously enough to pause before issuing the death warrant. The divinity of Jesus, in the ancient Greco-Roman sense of the existence of gods, was affirmed right after the death of Jesus on the cross when the leader of the Roman soldiers said, “Surely this was the son of a god”.

And notice in the gospels that the opponents of Jesus did not question that he had actually performed miracles. Looking closely at the stories of Jesus, his opponents objected to his miracle-working on the Sabbath day or they assumed that Jesus had used the power of the devil to perform miracles. They in no way questioned that extra-natural events had taken place by the efforts of Jesus.

Taking a step back to a pre-Enlightenment sense of life, the gospel stories surrounding Christmas also will come with more clarity to us. To the modern Western mind, it might be impossible to imagine ancient astrologers (“magi”) travelling a long distance based on astronomical events in order to pay homage to the brith of a foreign king. We see, however, that the people of the time took this all very seriously when those magi arrived in Jerusalem and asked “Where is the one who was just born as the king of the Jews?”

Likewise, when a baby was born in ancient Judea, the friends and family of the child would come together and sing around the home of the newborn in joy and happiness. So the coming of a large group of singing angels to nearby shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus was a supernatural event that fit the natural cultural traditions of that time and place.

When you read the ancient stories of Jesus’s birth, take a quiet moment to let go of strictly held ideas that only what is seen and can be scientifically measured is real. When you do, these stories will take root in a fresh way in your heart.

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