The Better Angels of Our Nature
The Better Angels of Our Nature

The Better Angels of Our Nature

Abraham Lincoln was known for his commanding use of the English language, most notably in his famously concise Gettysburg Address. This seemed to be the pinnacle of his skill, yet he was displaying his verbal prowess for years on the campaign trail and in debates. Some say it was his loss to Stephen Douglas that put him on the map for the Presidency, a good reminder that God can use what seems like a loss to prepare you for what comes next.

One famous phrase comes from the close of his first inauguration speech. I quote the final few sentences because of how masterfully they are worded, though my focus today is on the final words:

     “The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot

grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will

yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will

be, by the better angels of our nature.”

It’s an interesting phrase, “the better angels of our nature,” that assumes we have “better” and “worse” angels fighting within us. Lincoln wasn’t making a theological statement about types of angels, but was mainly appealing to the nation to put aside their differences and move toward unity. Invoking angels was a subtle way of pointing to a higher reality than our natural tendencies.

But what happens when an actual angel shows up? We’re going to take a break from our study of John this Sunday and look at four people who met angels, and why the angels came to them in particular. We’ll also contrast them with one person the angels did not come to, and why, all leading up to the coming of Christ.

This Sunday, Christmas Eve, is a day when people are more likely to come to church than usual. If you have a friend, family member, or neighbor who doesn’t attend church regularly, consider inviting them to join us this Sunday. Our service starts at 11. Doors open at 10am. There are no life groups this Sunday. Preschool classes will be available during the service. Elementary age children and up will attend the service.

Photo by Pixabay

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