But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21
The real meaning of angel is simply: messenger. It reminds us that Christmas is about the message. And it’s good news! And delivering the good news were powerful spiritual messengers whose very presence struck fear and awe into people. Their message transformed mankind forever.
What did Mary see when the angel Gabriel appeared to her? What was it like to look upon this spiritual messenger of God that came with words that would change the world forever? How would Joseph describe his encounter with the angel? In the days leading up to Jesus’ birth, supernatural appearances were occurring as never before.
This year, many of us would like to hear a personal message from God. However, we’ve already received the message, and it’s individually suited to each of us because it was sent to all of us. As the angel said to Joseph: “Jesus will save his people from their sins.” The angel’s message from that cold night continues to ring loud and clear. Centuries later it’s still as true as it was when first proclaimed. In this world so full of wonders, yet seized by sinful human nature, we’ve been given the gift of salvation as proclaimed by angels. Hallelujah!