PASTOR'S PEN...                                                               

My Ten Angels 


     In this busy season of Christmas, and the temptation to get caught up inholiday festivities and buying that perfect gift for everyone, I want to tellyou about “ten angels” that walk beside me each and every day.  You cancall them my Christmas gift to the Ridge congregation – a wish that youmight claim these same angels for yourself in the coming year.

Now, you may be wondering, “Pastor Clarence, why do you mention ten angels? Do you think you are special?  Why not one, two, or three?  Surely you do not need so many?”

Well you see, each and every angel has a special job to do!  Yes, in this day of specialization in medicine, and the like, it seems even angels specialize.  That is why I need ten angels to help guide me, to give comfort and protect me, not just at Christmas time, but throughout my life.  Otherwise, I might be tempted to think more highly of myself than I ought, ruining the possibility that my ministry would have any reason to flourish and give joy.

The gospel writer, Luke, tells us in chapter 15, verse 10 that there is JOY to be found in the presence of angels.  The Lord knows some days I need JOY beyond the happiness which many of us will have in celebrating with our families on Christmas Day.  In fact, we must remember that for many families the holidays can be lonely and very depressing and certainly nothing to celebrate.

So here goes.  Tell me what you think about my “ten angels” that promise to bring me JOY that this world cannot even imagine.

The first three angels are FAITH, HOPE, and CHARITY.  They are some of the most familiar angels and are ALL overworked.  However, there are seven more, that are just as important.  Allow me to suggest, that without them, perhaps faith, hope and charity would not be realized.

The fourth angel is the one I call TOLERANCE, whom I fear, Christians may not use enough of.  For if we did, there would be no bigotry or hate in this troubled world.

The fifth angel is the one I call FORGIVENESS, who without a doubt, Christians and non-Christian alike, is under-utilized.  Who among us could not do with more FORGIVENESS in our hearts?

Then we have the sixth angel, I'd like to call, BEAUTY.  We all can find so much ugliness in our lives, forgetting most of the time that, when we take on a negative self-image, we are doubting God's WORD about his creation.  He said in Genesis 1: 27 that humankind are made in His image.  And no one, can do better than that! Thus I would contend, that I do not know a single person who couldn't do with more BEAUTY in their life.

The next two angels, are the twins.  Some of you may know that I have a set of twin granddaughters, Addison and Emelia Stouffer.  What kind of “Pappy” would I be if I didn't think they were special?  Instead of having the nicknames of “Addi” and “Emmi,” as I fondly call my ten year old granddaughters, the seventh and eighth angels' names are JOY and HAPPINESS.  They are most often walking along hand-in-hand, concerned for one another, not willing that one stray from the other.

Finally, my favorite and ninth angel, is one I call my FRIEND, because this angel can bring true riches to our lives – wealth beyond the money and gifts we exchange in this world.  I have heard it said that, To have a friend, one must first be a friend.  And you know, … it works!  And, just in case you forgot, the songwriter reminds us what a FRIEND we have in Jesus.

And last, but in no way least, is the tenth angel I call LOVE.  Sometimes, this angel seems shy, and seems to be sleeping.  But, she is always near.  If we would only open up our hearts and notice her standing there, then all the other “angels” would be easier to see.

It is my belief that each and every person has angels very near to them.  Why do you think the scripture tell us that sometimes we entertain angels unawares? 

      My TEN ANGELS are sent from God, to see me through this life.  Until that moment, that day, that year, that it is time for me to join Him, in the place we call Heaven, I will find JOY in the presence of angels.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all!

                                                                                      Pastor Clarence