Clergy letter for September– Anette Love
Do you believe in angels? I think I do, though I’ve never seen one – except of course on the top of a Christmas tree. Christmas is when they come into their own and we hear a lot about
them bringing messages – which is their main job. I always belt out that line in the carol, ‘O hush your noise you men of strife and hear the angels sing.’ - aimed especially at male
politicians I think!
But the big day for angels comes on 29th September
What is an angel? Easy, people think. A shining figure with glorious wings, who appears from time to time to bring special messages from God. Except, that sometimes people do recognise angels for who they are, and sometimes they don’t, which is why Hebrews says it’s possible to give hospitality to angels without even realising it.
God comes to us in all kinds of moments – occasionally that’s when we are in church, but just as likely on one of the other six days when we are doing the quite ordinary ‘common things of life’ (to quote the hymn, ‘Fill thou my life.’).
Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem suggests that even time when we’re out collecting blackberries to be frozen ready for delicious winter crumbles, could be a ‘holy moment’ and that while we pick we should be on the lookout for the heavenly messenger. God appeared to Moses in a bush, maybe He’ll come that way to us, if we take a moment to listen.
Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
So not just blackberries but a bush alight with love from God.
Not just a bush, but a pile of ironing or a computer screen – in fact at any moment of any day God may burst into our lives with love, or send us round to a friend to help and be their angel for a moment.
Put a song in our hearts, one that the angels sing
That through our daily lives, your praises will ring out