A Voice of Divine Intervention
(Posted August 29, 2019)
All God's angels come to us disguised. --- James Russell Lowell, 19th century poet
I’m not surprised, actually, that we humans are fascinated by angels. Even for the most faithful of us trudging through life, there are days that are so dark that we feel as if this trip through life is a solo affair. And that’s exactly why we need to encounter angels. It’s always refreshing when something happens that makes us understand that, while God’s presence may be hidden from our eyes, we are definitely not alone.
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Take, for instance the story that occurred just a few years ago in Spanish Fork, Utah – a small town near Provo. A car had overturned into an icy Utah river, and four police officers from the Spanish Fork Police Department rushed to rescue the driver. When they arrived, they found the mid-sized car overturned, mostly submerged in 40 degree water. But as they rushed down the river bank, they all clearly heard a female voice coming from the car, pleading “Help!” Again and again the voice called out. When they righted the car, they found the driver, Jenny Groesbeck, dead upon impact behind the wheel. But next to her, suspended upside down from her car seat above the water and unconscious, was Jenny’s 18 month-old daughter, Lily. There was no one else in the car. At least, no one who could have called out for help that was visible to the police officers. Lily survived her ordeal, and at the same time life was never the same for these burly and gruff policemen, most of whom who previously would have laughed about the idea of a voice of divine intervention. But not now.
Now, not all of our encounters when we feel God stepping into our lives are quite so dramatic and worthy of a Hallmark movie as this story. But it’s important that we remain sensitive to the times that God does intervene in our own lives, most often in human form, so that we stay humble enough to be able to hear that voice, that lesson emanating from the least likely people we meet. In this Sunday’s readings in the Hebrew Bible and in the Gospel, Jesus reminds us how our own overdeveloped sense of importance can make us deaf to what God is trying to tell us, to discount that voice as inconsequential. He also instructs us how to be open to what other people are going through in their lives so that WE may be the special instruments of God’s peace that can make a difference in people’s lives. Most of all, we learn that at moments when we least expect it, we may “entertain angels unaware” as we journey through the week. Join us this Sunday for look at unexpected help from on high. - Pastor Pat Kriss