January 10, 2010
Let There Be Peace on Earth
from documentary "Dakota's Pride"
most group members have Down's Syndrome
The Escape to Egypt
13 ...an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." 14So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." Mt. 2:13
The reason angels and spirits are so intimately united to us that it
seems to them as though our characteristics were their own is that there
is such an intimate union within us of the spiritual and the natural
worlds that they are virtually one. However, because we have separated
ourselves from heaven, the Lord has provided that there should be angels
and spirits with each of us and that we should be governed by the Lord
through them. This is the reason there is such an intimate union.
It would have been different if we had not separated ourselves, because
then we could have been governed by the Lord through a general
inflow from heaven without having spirits and angels assigned to us.
Heaven & Hell, 247 NCE
In January of 2002, I arrived at the airport in Manchester, England. It was only months after the 9-11 attack, and I was nervous about flying. But I landed safely and could focus on the adventure that was before me: being a guest faculty member at The New Church Theological School.
I loved getting to know British Swedenborgians!
There are two parts of my stay that were special gifts.
The first was tea time. Twice a day, a bell would ring calling us to the lounge for a hot, steaming pot of tea. I still hear in a bell in my head around 10:15 AM and 3:15 PM, telling me it is time for tea!
The second gift was getting to know angel researcher, Glennyce Eckersley
She was working at the school when I arrived, and I enjoyed many cups of tea with her! She told me that people had started telling her about about their personal angel encounters. She began writing down the stories. Then she put them in categories, and added some Swedenborgian theology about angels and their roles in our lives. Her book, An Angel at my Shoulder, became quite popular in the British Isles and then on the Continent. Even more people told her their angel stories, and she has written many more books. She is interviewed on radio and TV and travels about for various appearances. She spoke one time at The General Church, in Byrn Athyn, PA.
I am especially moved by angels at work in the lives of children. Swedenborg tells us that angels are with babies from the moment of birth. They surround the infant with love and protection. As children grow, new angels come to them to help them through childhood. We all have unconscious memories of the angelic love that surrounded us in our early months and years. [See Kirven, 1994, pp. 8-11].
To find stories about angels helping infants, we can start with today's scripture reading about angels telling Joseph to take the baby Jesus to Egypt.
Here is a story that Ms. Eckersley was told about another infant being saved by angels.
Lesley, a young British woman, married a Nigerian man and moved to Africa. Her husband was gone a lot, and Lesley had no family near by. So she felt very alone when she went to the the hospital to have a baby. Labor was long and complicated, and an IV had to be inserted into her arm. She lost consciousness. One of the doctors on her team was exhausted after working 48 straight hours. She went to a room, locked it, and fell asleep. Then she was shaken awake and told to go room 6, where the woman and her baby were in danger. As the doctor woke up, she realized that no one was in the room, and the door was still locked from the inside. She figured it was a dream, and went back to sleep. Again, she was shaken awake with the same message. She woke up fully, and saw a young woman, dressed in white. She raced to room 6, and found that Lesley had been given the wrong IV. She and the baby were moments from death. But she switched the IV in time, and a lovely baby girl was born. Lesley is now an artist, certain that an angel saved her life and her baby's. So this is also a story about what inspired a young woman to become an artist!
Jean was a 15 year old who loved to ride her bike. One day, through no fault of her own, she was a victim of a terrible accident: a bus slammed into the side of her bike on the road. Jean felt herself being lifted a fraction of a second before the impact; She was carried about 20 feet, and gently put on the ground. Her bike was a crumpled mass of metal. She was certain it was a guardian angel who had saved her.
A 4 year old girl named Lucy ran out into a busy street, without thinking to check for traffic. She was hit by a huge truck, that ran over her twice: front and rear wheels. She was taken by stretcher to an ER, with dire expectations from her somber family. Yet, when she was examined, the doctors could not find a mark on her! Then Lucy opened her eyes and calmly asked Where is the man in white?
A doctor said, I'm here, but Lucy replied: No, the man in the long, white shiny dress! He stroked my face, and picked me up so that the wheels couldn't touch me. Witnesses continued to claim they saw the truck roll over her twice, and truck driver said he felt two bumps. But Lucy was absolutely fine!
I can't think of any other explanation except for angelic intervention!
His Eye is On the Sparrow
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|Topic: "Children's Angels"|
By Rev. Wilma
01/10/2010 01:20a [Reply]
Did the use of the arts in this message add to your worship?
By Bill Peters
01/10/2010 02:52a [Reply]
By Rev Wilma Wake
01/10/2010 04:57p [Reply]
Bill, that's been on my mind a lot this afternoon. In the Portland Church today, we prayer for a person who had accidently run over a small child backing out of the drive. I couldn't help but think, "Where we that child's angel? Thisis a great topic for discussion -- maybe in this evening's chat.
By Bill Peters
01/10/2010 11:01p [Reply]
By elbert smith
01/10/2010 09:44p [Reply]
Fake it till you make it
Putting on a happy face — even if you don't feel like it — actually induces greater happiness, says Loyola University Chicago social psychologist Fred B. Bryant, PhD. So be exuberant. Don't just eat the best peach of the season; luxuriate in every lip-smacking mouthful. Laugh out loud at a funny movie. Smile at yourself when you pass by a mirror. After all, he says, "a surefire way to kill joy is to suppress it."
I know you enjoy using Loyola University Chicago social psychologist type ideas like "Fake It Till You Make It."
By Sue Kern
01/10/2010 10:12p [Reply]
"Fake it 'til you make it" is actually one of the oldest Twelve Step slogans. It originated in AA and is used in Al-Anon, CoDa, OA, and other Twelve Step recovery programs.
By Rev Wilma Wake
01/11/2010 01:56p [Reply]
Yes, Sue! I find it helpful in 12-step programs, too!
By Bill Peters
01/10/2010 10:34p [Reply]
By Rev Wilma Wake
01/11/2010 01:49p [Reply]
Bill and Elbert -- what great comments from both of you! I agree with you each in different ways. I think laughter is great medicine -- and "fake it till you make it" can be fantastic -- it's used a lot in 12 step programs. But, then, I think feelings are important. Sometimes, we need to feel the dispair or grief or sadness within us. Then we maybe need a friend to listen, or just be there with us in our tears.
By Page Morahan
01/13/2010 07:41p [Reply]
By Rev. Wilma
01/14/2010 08:00p [Reply]
What great wisdom you have attained!