Last week I discussed a story that shared with me by a Muslim friend, about phantom defenders of a Southern Lebanese village. Then we grabbed some information off Wikipedia in relation to the famous "Angels of Mons" event in WW1 which was basically outed as a hoax but has captivated the millions of people who have read the story over the years.
This week, the story - as per usual - came unexpectedly and whilst not looking for one.
I was sitting on the stage at Church when one of our senior Pastors came and sat next to me. I was sharing with him some of the stories I had discussed with 'M' my Muslim friend. I said to Leon "In Islam, you are not allowed to turn your back on a poor person or ignore their need, because in the Shiite tradition it could be the Messiah in disguise and you will be judged for it - I never knew that". (I had read the story of the 'sheep and the goats from Matthew to him to show that Jesus said a similar thing about meeting peoples needs).
"You never know when you are entertaining angels" Leon replied.
"Yep...that's what is says (referring to the bible)" I replied, allowing my attention to drift to the the stage set up, as I was playing bass in the band in around five minutes.
"Well let me tell you a story that one of my best friends experienced" Leon brought me back into the zone.
"(Name witheld) who is a very strong man of faith and his family were on a 4WD holiday around Australia. They knew they would hit the Northern Territory (famed location from 'Crocodile Dundee') at the beginning of the wet season (a time of torrential rain and flooding) but he was a pretty good driver. They had this huge caravan on the back, mate you should have seen it, it was awesome and they had been planning the trip for years".
"They got to a river crossing where the road was underwater for about 30 metres and they were travelling in a convoy a number of friends without caravans had already driven through. They realised it was pretty deep, but they had to go across to join the others. With their friends looking on they attempted to cross the river. They got stuck, the car got stopped and the water pressure on the caravan threatened to sweep them downstream. The water was up to their bonnet and it didnt look good".
"Suddenly a man with no shirt on, in shorts tapped on the window and said 'Let me give you a hand'. They accelerated, spun wildly and then the man single handedly pushed them along and up out of the water - a task impossible for any human. They zoomed up to the flat area above the river and jumped out to thank their new friend".
"But he was no-where to be seen".
"They ran over to where their friends were parked and said 'who was that man that helped us'"?
"Which man"? was the unanimous answer "You guys were stuck and then you just started moving, there was no-one helping you".
Bryony has put together some great information in our archive from the Bible on Angels, which will help you understand how God uses angels to interact with humans. If you missed it, go back a couple of weeks and have a look. It will give you a healthy understanding of what the roles of angels are and is a good antidote to a lot of the fluffy new age shop style misinformation on what angels are.
God bless you, have a great week - Pastor Baz.