I suspect most of us would delight to
meet an angel face to face. These heavenly messengers
are fascinating, yet the Bible tells us very little
about them. Very few even reveal their names. They draw
us not to themselves, but to the message they carry.
Matthew begins his Gospel with a host of
messengers. One is an angel; most are human. We read 17
verses of names (messengers) before we meet this angel.
Some names are familiar, most are not; but don’t past
them without pause. Each carried in their life’s story
the message of the Savior and the cross.
Every day I pass through a hallway
covered with family photos. They are the men and women
who brought the message of Jesus into my life. In a
sense they are my angels. When I open the pages of our
church directory, I see a church family who has
supported me and encouraged me in this journey. You are
God’s messengers too. This whole experience of sharing a
Lenten journey together is one in which we are
messengers for one another as we are “drawn to the
Matthew doesn’t reveal a name for
Joseph’s angel. The angel has a message, however, that
does reveal a name: Jesus. It’s the first cross-sighting
of our journey. Jesus (The Lord Saves) is a marked man
before he’s even born. It would be Joseph who would
actually place the mark of death on him by naming him.
From an eternal perspective, however, the Heavenly
Father named his son, marked with our sins, marked with
Angels however delight to tell us, “do
not be afraid.” This One is conceived by the Holy
Spirit. Jesus wants it this way. The cross is his chosen
mark for all us to become his people. Our names are
added to a long line of messengers who are all drawn to
meet him at the cross. We’re in the book. Together, we
are “his people.”
Today we open the book: Matthew’ Gospel.
We read the Gospel with the support of the messengers
who wrote this devotional booklet. “Drawn to the Cross,”
borrows its title from a Lenten hymn. The final verse is
a prayer of dedication for all who would join them as
messengers of the cross. This is our journey of faith
and service of love that angels envy.