|by Phil Ware
Boy hidee (Texan for "Gadzooks!" or "Wow!"), angels are all the rage! Everywhere you turn there are angels being marketed, sold, talked about, written up in books, featured on television specials, or bumper-stickered. So what do we make of all this angel mania? I'm not sure. But...
It is exciting to me to know that angels are God's messenger servants (that's what the word angel means) sent to serve Christians (Heb. 1:14). Throughout the Old Testament and in the early life of Jesus, we read about angels helping God's people. The Holy Spirit says they do that for us, too!
One of the most exciting aspects of the angels' ministry is their worship. When we open Scripture, especially the book of Revelation, we find out that the angels are the original praise team. They lead the worship of heaven!
Their worship is especially helpful to us because they help us know who to worship: God's angels do not worship other angels, and in fact discourage humans from worshipping angels. Angels, however, worship God the Father, and Jesus the Son, the Lamb and King. They also show us how to worship: they bow down, they shout for joy with praise, the speak of the worth and glory of God and the Son, they are filled with awe and exuberant reverence as they make clear the glory of God in song, praise, and adoration.
But there is a special aspect of the angels' worship that is very intriguing to me: they worship with us! Tucked away in 1 Corinthians 11:10 is a reference that suggests that what we do in our Christian assembly must take into account that angels are present.
While not altogether clear, I envision it is this way. We know that when Jesus returns, he will come with thousands upon thousands of angels. We will join them and will worship Jesus with them when we are ransomed to glory. So the way it seems to me, our worship in our church assemblies is kind of a dress rehearsal, a pre-season version of the greatest praise service the world will ever know, the day Jesus returns. We're getting ready for the greatest worship experience ever!
Now that does not diminish the importance of our worship services. No, quite the contrary. We come together to offer each other comfort and encouragement in our Christian walk because we want everyone in our assemblies to be there on that day that Jesus returns.
We know that every knee will bow when he returns, we just want to be in practice so that we can bow as the victors who share in his conquest and not as the defeated.
Most of all, we want to join the heavenly chorus in praise and jubilation at Jesus' ultimate victory over law, sin, death, and Satan. So as we worship now, with angels in our midst, let's do it with the sense of high expectation that we are getting ready to worship not only with angels, but with the Father and with the Lamb!
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