There are angels

A message for Christmas Eve from Father Glenn

There are angels.


Especially on this holy night, there are angels.


On other nights we may not see them, but there are angels just the same. On other days, we may not see them, but they are there. We may not even see them tonight but they are there… and they are here.


The Story of Christmas is full of angels. An angel foretold that Elizabeth would bear a son, John.  An angel announced to Mary that she too would bear a son who would be one far greater than John. An angel told the shepherds of the birth of the Messiah.


The angels always said, “Be not afraid.”


The story of heaven is resplendent with angels who encircle the highest of heavens where our Father, our Holy Father abides. There, they sing in song that the masters of the great symphonies could only echo faintly and they dance in a cadence of light that the most wonderful hues of the northern lights barely mimic. They are there, the angels. Their wings beat out a breeze, like a gentle wind, like a small breath, a small breath of heaven… It’s just a whisper… And it’s here.



Maybe that’s what Mary first heard: the whisper of angel wings. Then the news -- the Holy Spirit.


“What have I done?” she asks on nights that were moonless and that felt cold to her when she was travelling… on the journey to be with Elizabeth or on the way into Bethlehem. Not hard to imagine how a young girl – likely a teenager  – pregnant and unmarried, would be seen and treated and how’d she’d experience the world. “Must I walk this path alone in a cold-as-stone world?”, she might well have felt.


"I’m not good enough, wise enough. How can I get through this? How can I hold it all together?"


What would her silent prayer be, I wonder.


And what would your prayer be in the silence of a time when you feel like that?


Mary’s experience was one-of-a-kind, unique and singular. It's nothing like yours or mine. She is the mother of Jesus, after all.


Still, I do suspect you and I can identify with a feeling such as this “cold-as-stone-world”. I’m sure we’ve all asked, “How can I get through this,” whatever that may have been or even be. We’ve all asked, “How can I hold it together,” in one manner or another. That part of what Mary was going through touches, in a very deep way, the kinds of things we face along a journey of life and journey of faith. We have Mary as an example and with her we have such a great cloud of witnesses.


Thanks to Mary, in the midst of any darkness, there always will be light. For us, the light in the darkness is her son – ‘the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’. He is the light in the darkness and he always will be the light in whatever darkness you experience. It was on this very holy night that his light first came into the world.


Through him we learn about hope. We learn about compassion, about love, forgiveness, and peace.


Hush now and listen… for the angels.


The angels will tell you.


They’ll tell you by the flutter of their wings and by the small breath of heaven they send your way. They’ll always tell you that you are lovable and that you are loved. You are forgivable and you are forgiven. There is peace for you. There is hope. You are not alone. There is light for you no matter what the darkness may be. You are worthy and you do matter. Angels are watching over you. You may know some of them. “Do not be afraid,” they’ll tell you. “You are not alone.”


They’ll tell you something more too, I think. They’ll say that they’re just a hint of the breath of heaven.


They’ll tell you that the breath of heaven is something more than the flutter of angel wings. It’s the Holy Spirit and more again since the Holy Spirit binds the Father and the Son together with it. That’s the breath of heaven. The breath of heaven is around you forever. It’s what holds you together… always and forever.


And one more thing that I’m sure they’re telling you is for you to remember all what they have said when you are waiting… and in the silence of your prayer.

(c) 2018 W. Glenn Empey


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  1. Marylou and Don Bowlesdonald on 26 December 2018 at 1:42 PM

    Most wonderful night! Sure hope the Kraus are able to come again.

  2. Peggy and Donnie on 26 December 2018 at 12:38 PM

    One of the nicest Christmas Eve services we have attended. So great to see the family come all the way in from Scarborough just to see our service

  3. Eunice on 26 December 2018 at 11:26 AM

    Profound thanks to Father Glenn, the Kraus family and everyone who came out to St. M & A to worship on the eve of the Nativity. One could not ask for a better lead-in to Christmas with loved ones near and far. Yes, there are angels!

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