Quiet Service - Resources

Quiet Service 21st June 2015


There are nearly 360 mentions of Angels in scripture.

When thinking about a theme for this service we were away for a few days in Barcelona. Whilst there I was struck by the number of images of angels to be found in the city. Not only in the churches but also in the streets on statues, buildings, lamp posts, graffiti and even tattoos. One lady on a bus we were on even had large wings tattooed on her back!

It is my belief that Angels are not only among us as in-animate objects and pictures but are present with us in our humanity and as divine visitors.

So what are Angels? The origin of the word is from the Greek and means messenger.

So Angels are messengers and can, therefore, come in any way that a message can be received. In dreams and intuitions as a tap on the shoulder or a vigorous push demanding attention. They come as accident and coincidence they come in the beauty of creation, and sometimes they come as friends or strangers who say just what you need to hear at that moment - we ourselves may often act as an angel to others, without even knowing it.

Tonight we will spend some time together focused on some different aspects of the Angels who touch our lives. Praying that our time together will help us to recognise them and respond to them when they come?

Touched by Angel Wings

The Service.

We start as always with a time to prepare, a time to set aside the concerns of the day so that we can be ready to hear God.

Let us pray together.

Loving God we come to you in the quiet of the evening. We set aside our busy day to spend some time with you.

We need to be refreshed, renewed and reawakened to your presence with us. We pray as we reflect and seek your guidance that you will make clear to us the pathways we should travel. Amen

Section One - Praising God

The Angels often come to Announce things often in surprising and unexpected ways.

The sound of trumpets is often used to announce their arrival and many images of Angels have them playing trumpets. We use a bugle to represent these angels.

Bugle clipart

Imagine a young girl, safe at home away from the limelight, her days filled with the regular monotonous tasks that any adolescent would be expected to do. An ordinary, regular, run-of-the-mill life. She looked forward to her marriage, but after the wedding her life would be lived just like every other woman in her community.

Then, when she least expected it, an angel broke into her life and told her that her life was more important than she would ever have thought possible. God was with her and in God's eyes she was very special.

Sometimes it feels that our life is small, obscure, seemingly insignificant. We wonder if the activities of our days, that seem so normal can really make a difference. Does our life count for anything? Does cleaning the house, caring for children, attending meetings, shopping, watching television prove that our life has meaning? Are we concerned that we will come to old age and feel as though our life has made no difference at all?

Just when we are busy at the everyday things in our lives, an angel steps in to remind us that God is with us and our life does matter. We may be given new task, or told that the tasks we have already been given are the ones through which God will change the world.

Are we prepared to believe the angel when we are told how important we are?

Take some time to give thanks to God for the times he has touched your life, Whether in small or life changing ways. Give praise to God for those moments and for God's presence in your life.

To help focus our thoughts here is a Bible passage and a hymn which may be helpful. Please feel free to use these or any other words that are helpful or ignore them completely. This time is for you and God.

Read: Luke Chapter 1 verses 26 - 38

Music: STF 39 - Angel voices ever singing.

Let us pray together.....

Section Two - Direction

The Angels often come to give us direction. To change our path or keep us on the path we are wavering from.

We use a map to represent this guidance.

Map Image

We are often unaware of what life holds for us. We cannot know all the things that are about to happen to us and around us.

We make decisions based on what we know, what we can see, what we feel we can predict.

Perhaps this is why we are so stunned and shocked when tragedy strikes, or why we are so amazed and awed when unexpected miracles happen.

In both cases, we try to work out what has happened and change what we do. Because our sight is limited, we sometimes find ourselves in situations that could have been avoided. Sometimes angels step in to give us the knowledge we need.

While angels do not prevent tragedy, suffering, and disaster, they are ready to move into our world and into our dreams to show a new way for us to tread. Are we ready to hear the words of the angels and to act on them?

Read: Exodus Chapter XX verses 20 - 22

Music: STF 465 - Guide me O thou great Jehovah.

Let us pray together..... for the guidance we look for. For the direction God wants us to go both in our own lives and as his fellowship together here.

We often think of angels with sweeping wings. So for our next two meditations we use a visual help in the form of some feathers.

First we think of the love of God and use soft down feathers to illustrate this.

Downy Feathers

We let these feathers remind us of the love of God which surrounds and protects us.

Birds spend vast amounts of time preening themselves to keep their feathers in optimum condition so that they will keep them warm, keep the water out and allow them to fly a bird that did not do this would soon perish.

In the same way we nurture our faith keep it fresh and renewed not to keep our bodies alive but to keep our relationship with our God constant.

The bible does not mention the love of angels only the love of God, the angels are a manifestation of that love. So I have selected Psalm 139 as our passage for this section.

Read: Psalm 139

Music: SofF - 825 I sing a simple song of love.

Let us pray together for the loving protection of God as we seek to do his will and follow his pathway.

Flight Feathers

Feather clipart

Let these feathers remind us that we ourselves are destined to fly in however small a way and that we need the presence of God in our lives as he holds us, allowing us to fly.

Angels could be anyone - anywhere - at any time. They are here to remind us of God's presence in our lives and in the universe, to care for the needs of our soul, to watch over the situations we get ourselves into, to guide us into new ways of being, to bring a holy balance to our lives.

Because they can be so easily missed, we need to be on the lookout - always prepared to encounter them even in the most ordinary of circumstances. Knowing they might appear at the most unexpected times reminds us to keep our hearts open. We really cannot turn anyone away from the hospitality of our hearts, because that very one may be one of the angels.

When we are tempted to narrow our friendships, exclude those who are different from us, busy ourselves with no one but those who form our small network, then we risk missing the Divine Presence in our midst.

We risk being deaf to the word of God to us - the word that has the potential to completely alter our lives and unlock the gates that keep us enclosed in our safe, but fragile existence. Perhaps the most important message the angels bring is that we are meant to live open-armed, openhearted, open-spirited - because the Divine can be encountered at any instant. Are you poised to welcome the angels who will break you out from the bars of sheltered safety and lead you into the uncharted mystery of God?

Read: Matthew Chapter 25 Verses 31 - 46

Music: STF 738 - Go forth and tell.

We close with a short prayer

God our Father,
in a wonderful way you guide the work of angels and people.
May those who serve you constantly in heaven
keep our lives safe from all harm on earth. May they be guides for our feet and comfort to our souls.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.