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Say the word Angels and what comes to mind? White, ethereal, floating beings; cute child-like curly haired cherub with wings; beautiful and intricately detailed carvings; strong, mighty warriors?

The word Angel is derived from the Greek (and Hebrew) words which mean messenger. Angels, it appears, have always been associated with Christmas, however, there does not appear to be any specific date or attribution of where or when the first Angel Tree Topper or ornaments were used. We do know that the Europeans decorated their first Christmas Trees with cookies, and then later crafts and then glass ornaments, made into the shapes of Angels. Carvings have been found dating back to around 2000 BC showing depictions of Angels. So clearly the concept of Angels has been around for quite some time.

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The best reference to Angels is found in the Bible. In the Christmas story, Angels are mentioned on three separate occasions. The first being a visit to Mary, a young girl ready to be married. Who was Mary and why was she so special? Mary was in the line of Adam through David; she was of Levitical decent placing her in the bloodline of David and that of the Priestly linage. In other words, she was both in the line of great kings and the line of priests; those whose job it was to minister to the Most High God. To this young girl, the angel Gabriel appeared with a greeting and a very peculiar message. “Do not be afraid; you are highly favoured of God [God’s grace is upon you].” Such strong words for a girl of presumed lowly status. Gabriel brought Mary the message of the birth of a son, her son, who would be called the Son of God and would be great and eminent. He told of how the Holy Spirit would come upon her; wow, that must have been amazing for her, in those days no one had the Holy Spirit come upon them, but for perhaps a priest, or a very important person of the day; and how she would carry a Son conceived by no man. (Lk 1.30-35)

The second reference to Angels comes shortly after where an angelic messenger comes with a message for Mary’s betrothed husband, Joseph. The messenger encourages Joseph to take Mary as his wife; for she will bear a Son that will be a Messiah to their people. (Mt 1.20)

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Angels appear for a third time with triumphant exuberance and they proclaim the message of great joy announcing to the world, and specifically to sheep farmers, the birth of the Saviour, the Christ. There is a mass of angels this time praising God and singing Glory to God. (Lk 2.8-14)

From the beginning until the very end of the Story, Angels were involved. Their messages brought peace, assurance and announced the events that were taking place. From these stories we derive the significance of Angels and why they became mainstays as ornaments and tree decorations and toppers during the Christmas Season.

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I can imagine the excitement of the Angels who announced the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds. They were likely quivering with excitement over the event! A Saviour; to redeem mankind; and they had the ultimate privilege of telling those men on the hillside! What fun!  In turn, the men, those Shepherds likely did not know what to think about the announcement. When they went and found the babe, the Christ-child, and began to put the pieces together, they themselves, like the Angels, became messengers telling everyone in their path, their friends, their family members, their neighbors, and likely even strangers about the new Hope.

We too can be messengers.

 

 

When they had seen Him,

They told everyone they knew about the Child.

And everyone who heard was astonished and in awe.

Lk 2.17-18

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/63044503@N03/6016249196″>Angels Trumpet at Caesars Palace</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7926983@N07/2096488451″>Vintage Postcard ~ Caroling Angels</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/“>(license)</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/71401718@N00/5272785985″>Angels playing music and singing harmony, violin, altered from illustration, an etching from the Holy Bible, dated 1885</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/“>(license)</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50428077@N06/5118700824″></a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/74790907@N02/23029540636″>Double Talk</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/“>(license)</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/90955804@N04/15300699460″>2014 – Vancouver – I Told You to Wear a Shirt – I Told You to Wear a Hat</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/“>(license)</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/10362153@N03/3165585465″>Old Friends Chatting at Village Coffeehouse</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/“>(license)</a>

 

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