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Be an angel

Yesterday, two angels began new ministries in the church of God. One angel (I can hardly believe I’m writing this), our very own Andrew Day, was licensed as priest-in-charge of St Clement’s, Cambridge. And yet another, Helen Orr, was instituted as Vicar of Bassingbourn and Whaddon. September 29th is the Feast of St Michael and All Angels – so the timing was perfect.

As I describe Andrew and Helen as angels, I am not being facetious. Angels are exactly what they are.

Forget wings and halos. Angels are messengers – the Greek word angelos means just that. Have you ever noticed that the word ‘evangelist’ has ‘angel’ in the middle of it? An evangelist is someone whose message is good. And Andrew and Helen are good news for the people of their new churches.

Last Sunday I preached the Chevin Sermon in Great St Mary’s, during which I said this:

we can be angels, when we seek to bring heaven to earth, when we are agents of making local the divine, by making mercy (as well as justice) our intention, our practice, and our goal.

I meant it. We are called to be messengers, each one of us, and the message that has been entrusted to us is a good message, the best ever. If we don’t pass the message on, then who will? And it is a message we pass on in deed as well as word. So – be an angel. As Pope Paul VI reportedly said:

You may be the only Gospel someone reads today.

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