Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.
- Revelation 14.6
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.
This passage in Revelation has always fascinated me. It reminds me of the angel who arrested Philip and sent him on his mission to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8.26).
I wonder how the angels are involved with us, particularly as it relates to the proclamation of the Gospel. 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. Or rather, we have defined evangelism so narrowly, and entrusted the work so completely to “experts” that most evangelical Christians have almost no experience in or zeal for the work itself.
Maybe we should begin praying that the angels would plop down in our Personal Mission Fields and give us a hand at this most basic calling and task?
Seriously, the question remains in my mind: Scripture frequently talks about the role of angels in helping us along in the life of faith. Celtic Christians talked and wrote about their involvement with 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, direct His apostles, and proclaim the Gospel, can He not send them to minister to us as well?
I prefer to think that He can, and does, 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.
What about you? Do you expect the help of angels?
Psalm 91.11-13 (Lauda Anima: “Praise My Soul the King of Heaven”)
He shall 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!
Lord, as angels fed the children of Israel in the wilderness, let them strengthen me today for the work You have called me to do. Adapted from Augustine Hibernicus, On the Miracles of the Holy Scripture