Today we celebrate and give thanks for the angels, especially Saint Michael and the unnamed angels who fought with him against Satan. It is not very often that we contemplate the angels in Lutheran tradition; while we do mention them in portions of our liturgy, we rarely name them as specifically as we do today. Most Christians easily recall the message brought to the virgin Mary by the angel Gabriel, but few know much about Michael and others who share the unique role of angel in the heavenly realm.
So today we call to mind this special group of God’s created beings. Scripture leaves a lot to the imagination, but we do know that angels generally take their places around God’s throne. They worship, sing, bear good news, protect those on earth, and even fight evil. Saint Michael is best known for his epic fight against the dragon, who we learn “is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). It is interesting to note that while Christ won the victory over Satan, a battle still rages. Satan clings to power, but Michael and his angels carry the even greater power of Jesus Christ, who bears them up in the midst of the battle.
As we hear the fascinating yet brief account of Michael and the angels today, we also hear the even more captivating truth that “they have conquered [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 12:11). For after all, we do not worship the angels. It is not the power of the angels that destroys Satan; it is the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ that wins the battle and speaks truth to deceit.
We worship the same enthroned king to whom the angels sing, and in whose name they—and we—claim ultimate victory over Satan and death.
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