‘Hail, O favored One, the Lord is with you!
The angels were prominent that first Christmas. They had been busy keeping Mary and Joseph safe, (and aware) during this ‘flurry’ of activity, The also served as ‘announcers’ to the shepherds around Bethlehem that amazing night. All and all, they were pretty active in the affairs of the human race.
I suppose the shepherds were the classic event. A full complement of angels were needed as they worshipped God in the hearing of these men. Nothing like this had ever happened before; the music of heaven invading a pasture and visiting unwashed men.
The Christian faith always has this fundamental aspect of ‘announcing.’ It is part and parcel to our message. The Gospel can’t be silent. It demands a witness to unseen realities, and it proclaims the Truth, whether we like or not.
But I’m fond of the shepherds. Simple, and unpretentious they take the Good News with them as they go to witness the Christ Child.
And I like this poem, an awful lot.
A Poem written on Christmas, 1986
My mail carrier, driving his stubby white truck trimmed in blue and red, wingless, but wheeled, commissioned by the civil service
Daily delivers the Gospel every Advent.
This Gabriel, uniformed in gabardine.
Unsmiling descendent of his dazzling original,
under the burden of greetings is stoical,
but prompt: Annunciations at ten each morning.
One or two or three at a day at first;
By the second week momentum’s up,
my mail box is stuffed, each card is stamped
with a glory at a cost of twenty-five cents
(Bringing us the news that God is with us.)
First class, personally hand addressed.”
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2, The Message