Hi everyone, can you tell what I am? That’s right, I’m an angel – not just any angel – my name is Gabriel. You might have heard of me. Do you know what I do – apart from look magnificent, that is – do you like my wings?
Anyway, I work for the great I am, the beginning and the end, the creator, the almighty one – but you’ll probably know him simply as God. I’m one of God’s messengers – whenever he has something important he wants to tell people, he asks me to pay them a visit. You see, God has a really big soft spot for humans, although I don’t really know why. I mean, he shows them so much love and care, gives them an amazing world to live in, he shows them rules and guidelines to help them to live well, and they completely ignore him. They fight each other, even kill each other over such silly things. And yet he still reaches out to them, still loves them like your mum or dad loves you – even when they mess up and get things wrong.
It’s amazing really. The thing is, God saw that they were getting into such a mess and we – that’s the other angels and myself – we were saying to him, look, give up – they’re not going to listen – they’re not worth it. But he looked at us with love, and said, “I can’t give up. People are too special. I made them to love like me … I can’t bear to watch them hurt each other and hate each other. I need to show them that there is another way – a way of love and forgiveness – and I think there is only one way I can do this. I need to show them in person. I need to become one of them.” We all gasped … it was such an incredible thing to do – it was so risky – but we had no idea just how risky, just how crazy it was. We thought that if he was going to become a human, he would come as a king – after all, he is the king of all kings. But we were very wrong!
“Gabriel,” God said, “I want you to pay a special visit. I want you to visit someone who’s going to be my earthly mother. I want you to visit a girl called Mary, in Nazareth.” I was surprised, because all the important people lived in Jerusalem, in the palace, “But, my Lord, isn’t he going to be a king?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied, “but not the kind of king you think he’s going to be. If I come as a king, if I’m born in a palace, it’ll just show that only the so-called important people matter.
And then, when I’ve been born, I want you to go to the shepherds outside Bethlehem. I need to be like one of them. They always get forgotten. They always get rejected. They need to know that I’ve not rejected them. In fact, I’ve come for them. I need every person – even the very poorest person – to know that they matter to me. That every person is precious to me. Maybe they’ll be more likely to listen to me and learn to love each other. Maybe there’ll be hope for the world.”
I was amazed – in awe, really. “You really do love them, don’t you? But, it’s so risky! What if they don’t listen? What if they still hate each other? What if they still hate you?” Something in his look told me he’d already thought about this. He really must be crazy about these humans. If only they knew how much God loves them!
Anyway, I’d better get going… got some rather special news to share with a certain young girl called Mary.