The funny thing about angels is that we paint them as lovely and sweet, charming and even cherubic, yet whenever they appear in the Bible, their first words tend to be “Do not be afraid.” Sometimes we see artistic depictions of a fierce Gabriel or an imposing Michael. However, most depictions of angels, particularly female ones, seem created for looks, not for action—hardly the formidable messengers of God we read about in the Gospels!
Real messengers of good news and mercy not only come in all shapes and sizes but would rarely be described as shrinking violets. Think about the most beloved woman of valor you can recall from your family or congregation, neighborhood, or community. Chances are she’s not only a vessel of grace and goodwill but also someone you wouldn’t want to mess with when she’s on a roll. “Do not be afraid,” indeed. Give these women some room to maneuver!
This message is an excerpt from “Angels among us” by Laura J. Gifford in the March 2021 issue of Gather.
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