Crosfigell

The Help of Angels

Are we ready for them to help us?

On one occasion the monks said to Mochuda, “Our fields are ripe,” said they, “but we have no reapers.” “God is able [to give] you reapers,” said Mochuda. So a band of angels descended on the field and reaped it.

  - Anonymous, Life of Mochuda, Irish, 16th century from an earlier ms.[1]

Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people…


  - Revelation 14.6

This passage in Revelation has always fascinated me. Angels proclaiming the Gospel?

It reminds me of the angel who appeared to Philip and sent him on his mission to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8.26). What form might than angel have taken?

Or the angel who delivered Peter from prison and set him back on his course of proclaiming the Good News (Acts 12).

I wonder how the angels are involved with us, particularly as it relates to the proclamation of the Gospel. The writer of Hebrews says that angels can appear among us and we won’t even be aware that’s what they are (Heb. 13.1, 2). Hmm…

Angels help the cause of the Gospel, and I’m encouraged to know this, because from what I’ve observed of late, if the angels aren’t proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, it’s not getting much distribution.

We’ve become a non-evangelistic evangelical Church in this country. Maybe we should begin praying that angels would show up in our Personal Mission Fields and give us a hand at this most basic task.

It’s kind of weird and thrilling to think they actually might, no? The question remains in my mind: Scripture frequently talks about the role of angels in helping us along in the life of faith. If Scripture says it, I believe it, and more than that, I want it. But how do I tap into that help?

Celtic Christians talked and wrote about the help of angels matter-of-factly, like they really experienced it. What we see in the hagiographical accounts – such as the Life of Mochuda – may be a little too free, but who are we to say? If God could send angels to minister to His Son, can He not send them to minister to us as well? If angels can hold back the wind, might they not also lend a hand with a harvest (Rev. 7.1)?

I prefer to think that God does send angels to help us in various ways, but I’m not prepared to get too specific about the theology of angelic ministrations. It’s enough for me to believe that, as I press on in the work to which God has called me, He can send His angels to help in whatever way I need it, at just the time I need it (Heb. 1.13, 14).

As you go out into your Personal Mission Field today, do you expect the help of angels? And if not, why not?

The world we inhabit is more than what we can experience with our senses. Unseen beings swarm this world, some seeking to discourage and defeat us, and some ready to come to our aid for the sake of the Gospel. We know that we are engaged in a continuous struggle against spiritual forces of wickedness in high places, and we understand that we must prepare ourselves accordingly (Eph. 6.10-20).

But let us also understand that more powerful spiritual beings stand ready to assist us in taking every next step of faith that seeks to realize more of the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God. They are strong, invincible, armed with all the right weapons, and ready to assist us in our calling as witnesses for Christ.

Our unbelieving friends will scoff at such a notion. Our Celtic Christian forebears did not. Instead, they called on the Lord, both for His strength and for the help of angels, that they might do their work unimpeded and without doubts or fears. They turned their world rightside-up for Jesus. Perhaps we might be able, with the help of angels, to do the same?

For Reflection
1. Where today might you benefit from the help of angels? Are you willing to ask God for that help?

2. Does the fact that angels help us mean that we are necessarily always aware of when they do? Explain.

Psalm 91.1-3, 11-13 (Lauda Anima: Praise My Soul the King of Heaven)
All who dwell within God’s shelter in His shadow will reside.
He our Tow’r, our Fortress ever, in Him we our trust confide.
From the trapper’s snares He saves us, safe from harm shall we abide.

He will give His angels charge to bear us up, lest we should fall.
They will guard and carry all who on the Savior’s mercy call.
Cobra, might lion, serpent: We shall tread upon them all!

O Lord, embolden me with the knowledge that angels stand ready to help me today as I…

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T. M. Moore, Principal
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All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

[1] Plummer, p. 288.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore