September 29–St. Michael and All Angels

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

The name of the archangel St. Michael means “Who is like God?” Michael is mentioned in the Book of Daniel (12:), as well as in Jude (v. 9) and Revelation (12:7). Daniel portrays Michael as the angelic helper of Israel who leads the battle against the forces of evil. In Revelation, Michael and his angels fight against and defeat Satan and the evil angels, driving them from heaven. Their victory is made possible by Christ’s own victory over Satan in His death and resurrection, a victory announced by the voice in heaven: “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come” (Revelation 12:10). Michael is often associated with Gabriel and Raphael, the other chief angels or archangels who surround the throne of God. Tradition names Michael as the patron and protector of the Church, especially as the protector of Christians at the hour of death.

What is Michaelmas?

From The Lutheran Witness

What is Michaelmas?

In the Western church, St. Michael and All Angels has been celebrated since the 12th century. At the time of the Reformation, the Lutherans revised the celebration of former holidays and saint days in order to give greater prominence to the work of Jesus. St. Michael and All Angels was retained in the Lutheran liturgical calendar because it was seen as a principal feast about Christ. In fact, Philip Melanchthon, a colleague of Dr. Martin Luther, even wrote a hymn about St. Michael and All Angels (LSB 522, “Lord God, To Thee We Give All Praise”).

At first, this might strike us as strange. How is a feast named after an archangel about Jesus? But as with all commemorations within the Lutheran Church, the focus is not on the person but held in grateful thanksgiving to our Lord for using this person (or His holy angels) to give glory to His name and to bring about salvation for His people. The event celebrated on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels is thus impor­tant both in regard to our salvation and to the comfort it brings the Christian conscience.

via The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod – The Lutheran Witness.

The Jesse Tree–Day Twenty-Seven

Only one more day to go!

Today’s reading was about the angel(s). The reading specifically focused on the angel(s) that appeared to the shepherds, so like yesterday, we read Luke 2:8-14. This also provided us with a good opportunity, however, to review our previous readings, and talk about all of the different times angels, (especially Gabriel), appeared in the stories relating to Christmas. Starting with Zechariah, Mary, and Joseph, before either John the Baptist and Jesus were born, and continuing through the Christmas story with the shepherds, and even after, with the Wise Men, and again, Joseph, angels are integral in bringing God’s message, especially at this time of year!

Hymn of the Day–Michaelmas

Today is the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, (also known as Michaelmas), one of those rare “white days” that appear on the church year calendar amid the sea of green that is the Time of the Church. I was surprised to discover that Lutheran Service Book has not one, but three hymns, (#520-522), appropriate for this day. Here are the words to one of them, “Lord God, to Thee We Give All Praise,” the famous angelic hymn by Philipp Melanchthon:

“Lord God, to Thee we give all praise,
With grateful hearts our voices raise,
That angel hosts Thou didst create
Around Thy glorious throne to wait.

They shine with light and heav’nly grace
And constantly behold Thy face;
They heed Thy voice, they know it well,
In godly wisdom they excel.

They never rest nor sleep as we;
Their whole delight is but to be
With Thee, Lord Jesus, and to keep
Thy little flock, Thy lambs and sheep.

The ancient dragon is their foe;
His envy and his wrath they know.
It always is his aim and pride
Thy Christian people to divide.

As he of old deceived the world
And into sin and death has hurled,
So now he subtly lies in wait
To undermine both Church and state.

A roaring lion, round he goes,
No halt nor rest he ever knows;
He seeks the Christians to devour
And slay them by his dreadful pow’r.

But watchful is the angel band
That follows Christ on ev’ry hand
To guard His people where they go
And break the counsel of the foe.

For this, now and in days to be,
Our praise shall rise, O Lord, to Thee,
Whom all the angel hosts adore
With grateful songs forevermore.”  Lutheran Service Book #522