Summary: How the angelic appearances around Jesus’ birth demonstrates God’s providence
(adapted from a series from Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY)
TITLE: “ANGELS: IMAGES OF GOD’S PROVIDENCE”
OPEN: A. As human beings, we tend to associate certain images with certain concepts
1. For almost 2000 years, one of the main ways the church told the various stories of the Bible were
through icons, art, and stained glass windows.
2. With current technology, many churches now use projection screens and various forms of media
3. Never are images more apparent than at Christmas time
--You don’t even have to see or hear the word Christmas to know what time of the year it is
4. We use colored lights, Christmas trees, candles, Nativity scenes, and other visual images to tell
others that it is the Christmas season
5. This morning we’ll start looking at some of these images of Christmas
a. None of these images are to worshipped
--but they definitely point to the Christ of Christmas who should be worshipped
b. Jesus is the only person to walk on the earth who first came from heaven
1). We begin our existence as earthly beings who someday become residents of heaven
2). But Jesus is unique in that He was the King of heaven before coming to earth
3). His heavenly majesty was interrupted by a 33-year visit
--We might call it His “short term mission trip,” during which he laid aside the majesty of
heaven to be one of us
4). Each of the four images we’ll look at will point to that very thing: God becoming flesh
and living among us
6. We’re going to start this morning with the angels.
--“Angels: Images of God’s Providence”
B. How do you picture angels?
1. Most folks see them as dressed in white robes and having wide feathery wings.
--Some may even picture them with golden halos.
2. That description of angels comes not from the Bible but from human imagination.
a. It was how artists in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance painted angels in their paintings.
b. Since the Bible doesn’t tell us a whole lot about what angels look like, they had to use their
creativity and imagination.
c. We have generally adopted those ideas about what angels look like.
C. Listen to how some children have perceived angels:
1. Sarah, 7 – “I only know the names of two angels. Hark and Harold.”
2. Gregory, 5 – “Everybody’s got it all wrong. Angels don’t wear halos anymore. I forget why, but
scientists are working on it.”
3. Olive, 9 – “It’s not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then you go to heaven, then there’s
still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes.”
4. Matthew, 9 – “Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something
5. Mitchell, 7 – “My guardian angel helps me with math, but he’s not much good for science.”
6. Henry, 8 – “Angels don’t eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!!!.”
7. Jack, 6 – “Angels talk all the way while they’re flying you up to heaven. The main subject is
where you went wrong before you got dead."
8. Daniel, 9 – “When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he
lets out his breath, somewhere there’s a tornado.”
9. Reagan, 10 –“Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel
comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold,
angels go north for the Winter."
10. Sara, 6 – “Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who’s a very good carpenter.”
11. Jared , 8 – “All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn’t go for it.”
C. Most people who are familiar with the biblical Christmas story know about angels, but what they
may not know is that every time we see an angel in the Christmas story, he is a symbol of God’s
--The Lord uses these special messengers to convey His message to His people.
D. Before we get to these stories, we should try to better understand the angels that appear in
1. Matthew 22:30 says that angels are created beings that don’t procreate.
2. All the angels mentioned in the Bible are of the male gender.
3. They are spiritual beings and are usually invisible, but they can take on human forms.
4. Angels serve as messengers, and protectors, and we don’t know when we might encounter one
--Heb. 13:2 – “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have
entertained angels without knowing it.”