Luke 1:30-32. Then the angel told her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now LISTEN: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David...”
The year was 2009. Yes-- ten years ago. I remember the shiny red flip-phone I called my own, as well as the terrible service provider that made it impossible to make a call unless I was sitting in the middle of the road outside my house. But what I remember most was that was the year the use of my phone changed, and maybe yours did too. Instead of messages arriving through (missed) calls and voicemail, they began to appear on the little screen above the key-pad. In letters. In numbers. And soon, in emojis. Though the concept was dreamed of in 1984 and first executed in 1992, the later 2000’s were the advent of text messaging. Texting gives an illusion that we are in control of communication. Text messaging enables us to control what messages we send as well as which ones we listen to.
But sometimes the message we wish we could control is exactly the message we need to hear.
The Greek word in this scripture that we translate into the English word “angel” is aggelos, which also means “messenger.” An Aggelos is someone who conveys a message from the mouth of God to the ears of human beings. As with Mary, an aggelos may appear or speak in an unlikely place, to an unsuspecting person, at an inconvenient time. The words of an aggelos may be a message of prediction, direction, conviction, or simply a truth. But the role of the human being regarding this message is always the same: listen.
But do we?
What do you do with messages that threaten to change you, the ones you might not want to hear? Do you ignore them, delete them, hold off responding to them? Do you try to control them—and what God might be saying?
Or will you listen?
God has a message for you. What is it? Perhaps it’s a word of prediction, direction, conviction, or simply a truth about how loved and favored you really are. Perhaps an aggelos in your life is pointing you to Jesus or is providing an opportunity for your faith in Jesus to be born in a new way.
Are you listening?