‘The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.’ – Luke 1.19From Sam Lomas:
Have you ever had a major role in a nativity play? Think back to when you were a child and all the roles were being handed out – who or what were you? Sadly, my memories of the nativity are not happy ones as in the year three school nativity play, I was given the role of a star. Not THE Star, but simply, a star. In the background, with very little significance and very little to do (woe is me).
There are so many characters in the nativity story, each with their own role, all pointing to the wonder and glory of the birth of Jesus. One such character who points to Jesus is the angel Gabriel!
I’ll let you into a little bit of a secret. I have always wanted to play the role of the angel in the nativity play and this year for the Children’s Christmas Service, I am playing the angel Gabriel. In Luke’s Gospel, the angel Gabriel is sent by God as His messenger to share the ‘good news’ about Jesus coming into the world.
I find it striking to consider to whom God sends the angel Gabriel with this good news. Not to the powerful or impressive, but instead to Mary first and then to some shepherds. They are not popular or famous. Nor are they wealthy or powerful. Instead, they are ordinary people much like you and me.
This is a great comfort to us, as it means we don’t have to panic as to whether we are good enough or qualified to receive this good news. Rather, we can be confident that this good news is for everyone to hear, especially those who may be overlooked.
On the first Christmas, it was the angel Gabriel who brought the good news of Jesus’ birth to those God had chosen to receive it. Now it is our turn to share this good news of Jesus’ birth. It is the news that hope can be found in darkness, and peace in the midst of despair.
Spend a moment now, to consider who you know, who needs to hear this good news. Think about how you might invite that person to hear the good news. One way is to invite them to a Christmas service at St Patrick’s. Finally, say a prayer for that person now asking the Lord to shine a light into their life this Christmas.