Take a few moments each day to read/listen and reflect on the stories in the Advent Angels booklet. We hope these thoughts and questions will help ...
Monday 14th December ... PRESENCE - The Angels of Children
So the disciples were arguing with each other ... about who was most important in Jesus' team. But they've missed the point of following Jesus. So, Jesus pulls the rug from under they're feet when he tells his disciples to be like a child. At that time and place, children were considered the least important of all. But Jesus pushes back and paints a word-picture of children being so important and precious to God that they each have an angel with direct access to God.
I wonder what causes the most arguments in your household / your workplace?
I wonder how today's story challenges the way you think about yourself and other people?
I wonder how you can treat people as equally important today and this week?
Tuesday 15th December ... HEAL - The pool at Bethesda
This is a story about a story. And that story was about an angel, an angel who was said to appear every now and again, stir up the water in a pool, and heal people who got in - but each time only the first person to get in the pool would be healed. At least that's what the people believed. It has always seemed very unfair to me. Thankfully Jesus wasn't like that. He healed people freely and compassionately.
I wonder how the man in the story must have felt after being paralysed for 38 years?
I wonder why Jesus asked the man in the story if he wanted to get better?
If Jesus asked you "do you want to get better?", what would you say?
Wednesday 16th December ... STRENGTH – Jesus Prays
Sometimes life is so hard, that we need help and support to give us strength to carry on. Jesus knew that. He knew that his life was in danger. So he went to a familiar garden, with his closest friends, and went to pray to God about it. He wanted his friends to pray with him, to support him, but they fell asleep. Thankfully his Father God send an angel to give him the strength he needed to carry on.
I wonder who you can turn to for help when life is hard?
I wonder how it feels when your friends or family let you down?
I wonder what you would ask for God's help with?
Thursday 17th December ... RESURRECTION - Where is Jesus?
In the Bible, angels appear at important moments in God's plan. In the last story if was when Jesus was facing death. In this story Mary Magdelene (not Jesus' mum) goes to the tomb to pay her respects to Jesus. But to her surprise the tomb is open and two angels announce that Jesus is risen from the dead. The Bible tells that Jesus came back to life and appeared to many people and Mary was the first to know and the first to see him again!
I wonder how Mary felt as the story unfolded?
I wonder what you would want to ask Mary about what happened?
I wonder what you think about the angels' message?
Friday 18th December ... RETURN - Jesus Sends a Helper
Jesus had risen from the dead. He had appeared alive to many different people. He had spent time teaching his followers. Now it was time for him to return to heaven. Another significant moment and you guessed it - more angels!
I wonder how Jesus disciple's felt when he left?
I wonder how the angels' message might have helped?
I wonder what the promise of Jesus' return means to you?
Saturday 19th December ... RELEASE - Tell Everyone
In this story, we see Jesus' followers filled with courage through the power of God's Spirit, just as Jesus promised. They shared the message of Jesus life, death, and resurrection. Sometimes people tried to stop them. Sometimes they even got put in prison. But God sent angels to set them free to carry on the job that Jesus had given them - to tell the world about Jesus.
I wonder why people tried to stop the message of Jesus spreading?
I wonder what this story says about God's power?
I wonder how you feel about talking to people about Jesus?
Sunday 20th December ... INCLUDE– Tell Everyone
Jesus was a Jew. And up until this story the followers of Jesus have mainly been other Jewish people. But now God sends an angel to help change that. The angel send a Roman officer called Cornelius to see Peter. And when they meet, God teaches Peter that the good news of Jesus is for people of all nations. That's how the Christian faith eventually came across Europe to Britain. Another turning point in God's plan!
I wonder why it needed an angel to get Cornelius and Peter to meet?
I wonder what this story teaches us about God's desire for the world?
I wonder how you could reach out to include people you don't usually mix with?
Look out for the last batch of Advent Angel reflections on the St Andrews Blog from Sunday 20th December.