Sunday, December 10, 2006
The airspace over the Christmas Story is congested with angelic flight paths.
Old uncle Zechariah encounters an angel (Luke 1), and, gripped with fear, foolishly argues the toss with him…
Mary encounters an angel (also Luke 1), and is troubled by his message.
The shepherds encounter an angel (Luke 2), and are terrified. And that before they encounter a whole army of the heavenly host!
And then there is Joseph. Joseph encounters an angel not once, not twice, but four times (Matthew 1:20-24; 2:13; 2:19-20; 2:22-23). And he does so without batting an eyelid (metaphorically, at least; though as Joseph encountered his angels in the throes of REM sleep, his eyelids probably did flutter).
Joseph: the chippie, the builder of wooden-framed houses. Round ’ere, ’e’d be a brickie: belly hanging over his belt at the front, crack of his bum protruding from above his jeans at the back. Conversing wi’ angels as if wi’ t’ site gaffer; entrusted by God Almighty to raise His only Son…