Genesis 28:10-17; Psalm 103; Revelation 12:7-12; John 1:47-51
On his anxious flight into exile, Jacob’s dream of angels moving up and down on a ladder from earth to heaven reassures him of his ancestral covenant with God. In John’s Gospel, as Nathanael presses ahead in his spiritual search, he encounters Jesus himself, who tells him he will see something entirely new: angels ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.
In both cases, the medium is the realm of angels. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote “there is neither a this-world or an other-world, but only the great unity, in which the angels, those beings who surpass us, are at home.” We might think of angelic messages as manifesting in our intuition — especially in its deepest sense, the intuition of God’s presence in us — inspiring us to communion, ministry and stewardship. Nathanael accepts Jesus as the Son of God, not because Jesus is demonstrating anything conventionally Messianic, but because Nathanael’s intuition has recognized him.
The good news Jesus brings is that all of us, collectively, as the Body of Christ, are not only recipients of the angels’ messages of grace — but, in and through him — we are their bearers and sustainers and transmitters as well. The great unity that is life in Christ is where we also are at home..
This reflection was written by Peter Grace, a congregation member for the past eight years and a 2014 graduate of the Education for Ministry program. He is a facilitator of the Thursday morning Bible study group and a member of our healing prayer ministry.