Matthew 1:18-25 – Symbolism of Christmastime: Angels
For five weeks, we will be reintroduced to those who played pivotal roles in the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Some of the faces will be familiar, like Mary and Joseph. Others we will meet again, for the first time in a way, such as the magi who have so often and so long been misunderstood. We will hear about the significance of the angels, the messengers of God, bringing the good news to the shepherds, whom most people considered the bottom of society. Throughout this time, our knowledge of the story of Jesus’s birth will be recounted, and sometimes elements of it will be challenged, but in all ways our grasp of it should be strengthened for the sake of knowing Jesus himself even better.
An angel is a messenger from God. We hear a lot about angels and the messages they bore during this time of year. An angel appeared to Joseph during three different dreams, the first of which we study this week in Matthew 1:18-25. The angel, Gabriel, appeared both to John the Baptizer’s father, Zechariah, as well as to Mary, the mother of Jesus. An angel walked up to speak with the shepherds in the fields, and the heavenly host, which was an army of angels, sang out when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. This week, we will learn more about the identities of these beings and how they fit into and fulfill God’s plan.
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