Summary: See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. – Matthew 18:10
See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. – Matthew 18:10
We have many questions when it comes to bible verses and at times it does not make sense when we read a simple verse like this about angels. How can the angels always see God’s face when they are down on earth guarding a little child. This topic opens up to us an unseen world that is very much more real then our seen reality. St. Gregory explains this mystery, “They never so go forth apart from the vision of God, as to be deprived of the joys of interior contemplation. Thus they at the same time always behold the Father’s face, and yet come to us.” So we see the angels are able to live in the reality of worship of the Father in heaven while ministering his purpose and protection for others. Some belief that this speaks of the highest order of angels of those who are the “angels of the presence, or of the face.” What a powerful reality that the little lambs of God’s flock, the ‘little ones’, have such watching over them. The angels must enjoy the humility of little children who take such a “lowly position” (Matthew 18:4). If we do not realize it there are heavenly hosts surrounding us and we should try to have such a humility as a little child so not to grieve these holy ones. The early Church believed angels were significant in God’s order and work, even when hospitality is encouraged some thought angels could be these unknown visitors (Hebrews 13:2).
Angels are the one’s that announced the birth of Christ and his incarnation. Angels even directed early leaders of the Church towards God’s will (Acts 27:23). Clement of Rome says, “Let us think of the whole host of angels, how they stand by and serve his will.” We should not shut our minds in this thinking but realize angels are very much real and a part of God’s work. When the Church gathers we gather with angels to worship the Lord. Even in the last days an angel will preach the Gospel to unbelievers on this earth (Revelation 14:6). The Nicene Creed states, “I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.” By invisible things the early Church leaders meant the angels and the human soul. The unseen realm was more real to early Christians arguable then the visible. Much of the traditions and practices of the Church are all symbolic speaking of the greater unseen reality. Saint Athanasius said, “Wherefore let us not celebrate the feast after an earthly manner, but as keeping festival in heaven with the angels.” It would do well for us to consider that not only are angels watching and participating in what we do but God Himself. When we look at a little child now let us think of this verse and the unseen realm of angels who see the face of God. A Christianity that is focused on self is sub-standard, but a belief that is part of the entire Church, hosts of heaven and focuses on God Himself is heavenly.