Saint Michael and All Angels: 29 September Holy Day
We celebrate those mysterious beings which Scripture calls “angels,” a name which comes from the Greek word for “messengers.” Messengers from God can be visible or invisible, and may take human or non-human forms. Christians have always felt themselves to be attended by healthful spirits — swift, powerful, and enlightening. These spirits are often depicted in Christian art in human form, with wings to show that time and space do not constrain them, with swords to signify their power, and with dazzling raiment to represent their ability to enlighten faithful humans. Of the many angels mentioned in the Bible, only four are called by name: Michael, Gabriel, U’riel, and Ra’pha-el. In the Book of Revelation, the Archangel Michael is presented as the powerful agent of God who wards off evil from God’s people and delivers peace to them at the end of this life’s mortal struggle.
Many good and faithful Christians find it difficult to accept the existence of angels; for them, angels have no more reality in fact than unicorns, griffins, or the phoenix. It may be true that the existence of angels is not one of the things in which Christians must believe if they want to be saved. Yet whenever Christians say the Nicene Creed, they confess that God has created “all that is, seen and unseen.” Entertaining the possibility of angels may be one way of acknowledging the sheer diversity of life, visible and invisible, that God has ordained in creation.
Collect: Eternal God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals. Grant that as your holy angels stand before you in heaven, so at your command they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Rector’s Corner: St. Michael is a house of prayer for everyone. We welcome all people seeking a spiritual home. Our hospitality is one form of our worship.
Jessie Ellis: Today, our parish will say goodbye to one of our long time members, Jessie Ellis. She has served in the various ministry of our congregation. There was also a time when she was the editor of our parish newsletter, Michael’s Messenger. It is a bitter sweet farewell, but God is Good. The past few years had been a very challenging time for Jessie, particularly when she lost Don. Some of you know how hard it is to live alone. But by God’s loving grace, Jessie will be fine moving to her new place. I ask you all to offer your love and prayers to our beloved and faithful member, Jessie Ellis. May God continue to Bless you!
Parish Information Day: Today, a conversation will take place after our 10am worship service. We aimed at raising more awareness to both members and visitors of our church on the mission and ministry of the Anglican church. We will share some information with regards to the various ministry of St. Michael’s. This will also be an opportunity for the parish leadership to listen to your ideas and suggestions for the upcoming 60th founding anniversary of St. Michael’s Church. Hope you can stay after the service.
Waking up each day to the miracle of still being alive makes life a holy adventure. God still has something for us. God’s presence and provision is promised for why-ever-it-is we are still alive today.
Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE