Angels Among Us

For Advent 2022, we explored what it means to be visited by messengers of God — angels — and what it means for us to serve as messengers in the world today.

We did so by looking at the angel visits recorded in the Gospels as part of the story of the birth of Jesus:

  • Zechariah’s visit in the temple.
  • Mary receiving the news that she would give birth.
  • Joseph hearing and then doing what he was told as an act of faith.
  • Lowly shepherds hearing the good news first, showing Jesus came for all people, not just the elite.
  • God protects by revealing the good news to foreigners from afar and then by helping the Holy Family escape to Egypt and return.

Our sermon series on the angel visits recorded in the Christmas story begins with a look at the angel Gabriel, who visited the priest Zechariah to tell him the hope the people have long waited for is on its way.

Our sermon series on angel visits recorded in the Christmas story continues with the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary to let her know how she was being honored by God.

Our next angel visit recorded in the Christmas story involves Joseph. His faith serves as an example for us, first by the way he wanted to be kind to Mary and then as he followed God’s instructions.

Angels proclaimed the good news of the Messiah’s birth first to shepherds, typically seen as the lowest profession in society of the time. By doing so, God shows love to all people — and that the baby Jesus had come for all people, not just the elite.

The story of the visit of the wise men is a favorite for many Christians, but it also has a dark side, thanks to the cruelty of King Herod. On this first Sunday of 2023, Central UMC and Centenary UMC worshipped together, with Rev. Amy Seifert and her husband, Todd Seifert, pastor at Centenary UMC, both sharing the message.