Encounter of the Angelic Kind

By Tama Bankhead, Community Director of Lionheart

I have the great privilege of serving as Community Director of Lionheart Children’s Academy housed on the campus of Arapaho Road. The highlight of my week is hosting what other faith-based schools call chapel, but we like to call it ROAR! Time (for our preschool students) and Meow-Time for our toddlers…for obvious reasons.

This past week I began sharing the Christmas story in ROAR! Time. I used a nativity set to introduce all the characters and then I started reading the Christmas Story to them from a very child-friendly book. I read to the point where the angel, Gabriel, told Mary that she was going to have a special baby, Jesus (their attention span is only so much).

I put the nativity scene out in our foyer with the book (marked up to the point that I’d covered this week—when Gabriel met Mary) to encourage conversations between the children and their parents, and maybe let them use it for reading time. Somehow, Gabriel made his way to the top of the stable several times this week, rather than staying on the ground facing Mary in what I had staged as an obvious conversation.

maryangel2Even though we’d only gotten to the part where the angel was talking to Mary, many of them were quite aware that the angel belongs on top of the stable, shining down all his God-touched glory on the figures below. And this made me think, “Aren’t both of these correct?”, and “Isn’t that the exact thing that we should be doing?” especially this time of year.

God has given us the task of telling others about Jesus and that he’s coming. He’s also given us the task to shine our God-touched glory selves on others—acts of kindness, words of encouragement, selfless giving, the list goes on and on depending on the talents ascribed to us.

When was the last time you were someone’s Gabriel? I encourage you to have that conversation, be that shining light. There’s a Mary, or Joseph, out there just waiting for this encounter. Merry Christmas!

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