Monday, February 25, 2013

Angels and Demons

No, not the Dan Brown book. Although, that is a very fascinating read.
The Bible class at church began a study on angels yesterday. Pastor put together a very nice handout so we didn't need to spend the whole class flipping back and forth throughout the Bible to find the verses. The plan is to cover angels in general, then fallen angels, and then the Angel of the Lord. Even though I rarely miss Bible class, I am definitely going to make an effort NOT to miss during this study.
I wonder if one of the reasons I have learned so little about angels so far is that, to a born and bred Lutheran like myself, angels seem like a New Age-y, spiritual thing. Also that portrayals of angels in movies and on TV don't really ever seem to have ANYTHING to do with the Bible. Even Touched by an Angel, a TV show I particularly enjoyed watching, NEVER mentioned Jesus. Maybe it's not so surprising that several people who were at Bible class yesterday are so excited for and fascinated by this topic.

At the end of the class, Pastor handed out nice laminated copies of Luther's Morning and Evening Prayers, with an encouragement to incorporate them into our daily lives. So I added the Evening Prayer last night to bedtime prayers with Claire and Natalie.
       I thank You, my heavenly Father,
             through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son,
             that You have graciously kept me this day;
             and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins
                  where I have done wrong,
                  and graciously keep me this night.
       For into Your hands I commend myself,
             my body and soul, and all things.
       Let Your holy angel be with me,
             that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.
I pointed out to the girls that not only do we have God the Father and Jesus watching out for us while we sleep, but we have God's holy angels keeping the devil at bay, too. Natalie, who is always fearful of the devil, asked me if the devil would come in their room and scare her. (And oh, it would be SO EASY to offer false comfort.) I told her that that was why we prayed the way we did, so that we would be protected. Then I reminded her that God and Jesus and the angels are much, much stronger than the devil, and they were always near her to keep the devil away.
Just as they are always near us, and we have only to ask, and we'll receive all the help we need to keep the devil away.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You are Mine

The Lutheran Study Bible has a reading plan to read straight through the Bible in 2 years. I began last January and did fairly well, but fell terribly behind in the last few weeks of 2012. So now, in my quieter moments at work, I'm trying to catch up. I'm in the middle of Isaiah, which, I'll admit it, gets a little hard going at times. But then I read today:
But now thus says the Lord..."Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you." (Isaiah 43:1-4)
I love this passage. It's a reminder that God does not promise that we will not go through hard times, but that He will be with us when we do.