Today–September 29th–is the feast of St. Michael and All Angels, sometimes called Michaelmas. On most of the days of our calendar, we remember either God or a significant person whose witness in following God inspires our own journey. Today, however, we remember and celebrate the messengers of God who bring a word that invites us to journey differently, to allow our lives to be transformed by God acting in our midst.
The challenge of today is that it’s easy to jump to Hallmark pictures, or to remember Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life, or to think about guardian angels–none of which have much support when we turn to Scripture. Instead, the first words out of angels’ mouths tend to be: “Don’t be afraid!”–which speaks of the scariness of their appearing, and just how much our lives might be changed by the message they bear.
If you’re interested in reading more about Michaelmas and especially about angels, check out this blog entry from the Rev. Scott Gunn, who is the Executive Director of the Forward Movement in the Episcopal Church in the US: it’s a good summary!