Living with Caer

Living with Caer
October 22
CAER HALLUNDBAEK is an award-winning author, educator and communicator on spirituality, religious tolerance and faith worldwide. A founding director of the Godspeed Institute, she is the host of the popular radio program of the same name which airs on the Progressive Radio Network every week. For inspiration, guidance, and to hear her conversations with spiritual leaders and scholars around the world, visit:

DECEMBER 21, 2010 4:07PM

God's Muscle

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“If God will send his angels
Sure could use them here right now
Well, if God will send his angels
And I don’t have to ask how
And I don’t need to know why…”
-- U2, from the ‘City of Angels’ soundtrack 


Angels inspire; they protect; they herald great events; they guide the blind.


Angels stand: 

Above it stood the seraphim (Isaiah 6:2)



Angels sit down: 

And there came an angel of the Lord and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah.  (Judges 6:11)



Angels look like women:

Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and behold there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings, for they had wings like the wings of a stork...  (Zechariah 5:9)



Angels look like men:

And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo three men stood by him.  (Genesis 18:2)



Angels are spirits:

Who maketh His angels spirits (Hebrews 1:7, Psalm 104)



Angels are like fire:

His ministers a flaming fire (Psalm 104)



Angels are like wind: Martin Luther took literally the psalmist's statement that ‘the wind has wings.’ After a particularly severe and violent storm, he reflected: "The devil provokes such storms, but good winds are produced by good angels.” This heady image invokes the winds of Pentecost for me, blowing through our lives, cleansing our hearts and thoughts.


Archangels have a unique role as God's messengers to people at critical times. Of all the angelic interactions in the Bible, perhaps none is more deliberate than the involvement of the archangel Gabriel in the conception and birth of both John the Baptist and Jesus.


The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty.” (There's that muscle again.) It is Gabriel who announces the good news to John’s father Zachariah, and Gabriel who removes Zachariah’s ability to speak when he doubts the angel’s words. Zachariah’s tongue is stilled for Elizabeth’s entire pregnancy.  (Flex!) Finally, he announces to Mary that she would bear the Savior of the world:


The angel Gabriel said to Mary, "Do not fear, Mary, for God has been gracious with you. You shall conceive and bear a son and give him the name Jesus. He will be great; he will be called Son of the Most High..." (Luke 1) 


‘Virgin, you have heard what will happen, you have heard how it will happen . . . You have heard that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will be by the Holy Spirit and not by a man. The angel is waiting for your reply . . . We, too, are waiting for this merciful word, my Lady… The price of our salvation is being offered you… The whole world is waiting, bowed down at your feet. And rightly so, because on your answer depends the comfort of the afflicted, the redemption of captives, the deliverance of the damned, the salvation of all the sons and daughters of Adam, your whole race.  My Lady, say this word, which earth and hell and heaven itself are waiting for. The very King and Lord of all… is waiting anxiously for your answer… by which he proposes to save the world.’        -- Saint Bernard of Clairvaux


The word the Angel awaits is: Yes.   




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Follow your star of wonder... and have a beautiful holiday

I had been thinking that the old Greek, Roman, and Egyptian religions displayed a richer and more entertaining fantasy experience because they had so many gods. The Egyptians had a nice variety and that cool looking bird. But now you pointed out that the Christian religion has plenty of angels, so that ups its number of spirits. Still, there are many entertaining stories told about the ancient gods, but few about the angels. It's probably too late to create "factual" stories about them, since we have video and fact-checkers all over the place these days. But the stories wouldn't have to be portrayed as fact. Fictional stories would be entertaining too! That's a nice picture of an angel. Reminds me of Zeus and some of the powerful Greek and Roman gods. The wings are interesting. maybe update new pictures of angles -- have them holding automatic firearms, bazookas and ground-to-missile launchers. After all, even an angel with a sword would have much of a chance against modern weaponry!

So there's the perspective you get from a person who reads your stuff more regularly than most. Oh sure, it would have to be me, that troublesome atheist! Anyway, alsways interesting reading your stories. Hope you and your family have a happy holiday season Carole.

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