Heavenly Hosts or "Who Should I Send?"
One dark winter’s night (two millennia ago) Heaven was buzzing with excitement. Jesus (The LORD of Hosts, Bright Morning star and Captain of all the armies of Heaven) was about to be born as a baby sent to save the world. The question on the minds of all the inhabitants of Heaven was the same: Who would be sent to spread the news? Gabriel, the archangel traditionally in charge of news from God, had already appeared to Mary and Joseph to comfort and reassure them early on in the pregnancy. The Holy Ghost was also intimately involved. He had not only overshadowed Mary but had filled her cousin Elizabeth’s baby (John the Baptist) with the Spirit while he was in the womb. So now the question remained, who else would get to share the good news of this night’s event?
Suddenly, the command went out from the throne of God the Father that every inhabitant of Heaven was to present themselves immediately in full dress regalia. Could it be? Would He really empty Heaven and just send all of them? This was something that had never happened before in all of eternity. I know what some of you are thinking: Pastor Ed, it doesn’t say this in scripture. But, let’s read between the lines. When the Passover occurred, God sent one angel and every firstborn in the nation of Egypt who wasn’t under the blood of the lamb died. Similarly, one angel caused a million of Senacharib’s men to die of fright. But, when we look at the nativity story in Luke 2, everything normal or routine changed. A single angel appears to the shepherds at night and is giving them the good news when the Bible says:
And suddenly, there appeared with the angel a Multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God and saying “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace. Good will toward men.”
If you read this passage in the Greek, the phrase ‘multitude of the heavenly hosts’ means the fullness and totality of the armies of heaven. So, here’s the scene: All of the angelic armies of Heaven show up in their fullness and power (billions, maybe trillions of angels). And they have the message that God has arrived (wrapped in human flesh) with an offer of peace to all who want to accept Him. Keep in mind that they have seen God in ways that we cannot. If we saw the presence of God to the degree that they do, our fleshly body couldn’t take it. We would succumb to the power of His glory and would surely die. So, God chose to come to us in the most innocent and unthreatening form available. Jesus, The Unmatched Warrior, the Ultimate Power in the universe came as a baby.
Our challenge this Christmas is to realize that we are adopted into the family through the blood of Christ. We are now heirs of heaven and function as its Hosts far more than angels ever have. They have not been redeemed from sin. They have not been sent to witness the way that we have. They are servants, but not children of God. Even more than them, we have felt the power of God acting in us. We have intimate knowledge of His ability to defeat Satan. We’ve seen Him hurl fear and doubt over the horizon and out of sight. We’ve seen Him shred the chains of sin and addiction that bound us. Furthermore, the angels have never felt the tender love of God the way that we have. No angel has ever felt the hands of God pick them up in the middle of the night to comfort them. They have never felt the hot breath of God sweep over them and blow away the chills of sin and death.
Think about a Host or Hostess in a restaurant. They don’t own it. It’s not theirs. But they’ve been charged with inviting people in and setting the environment for what they know is to follow. As joint-heirs with Jesus we are each called to show up in this dark world and to proclaim everything that we know Him to be. We can’t just leave it to our shepherds and to the Gabriel’s around us. It’s time once again for the multitude of heaven’s hosts and representatives to assemble. The totality of the saved are called and commanded by God to rise up in fullness and give the highest praise. Let EVERYTHING THAT HATH BREATH praise the Lord. Rise up and rejoice in joy. It’s Christmas and He’s sending all of us to tell about Jesus!!!
Pastor Ed Brewer