The Angel of a Broken Heart “This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lamp stands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches,and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:20
In the Early Church, many believed that an angel was assigned to each church that would then resemble, or act like, that angel. Some angels represented joy, others service, others welcoming.
When I first learned this interesting historical fact about the Early Church, I dismissed it. I believed that angels are messengers
and that each of us probably has an angel, thus the phrase,“Guardian Angel”. The idea of an angel assigned to a church seemeda little far-fetched.
But these days I wonder. Now that I have served in various churches -- all Episcopal, with the same prayer book, the same
sacraments,hymnals, and so forth -- I’ve noticed there is something different about each one. They have their own congregational DNA. They have their own spirit. Maybe there are angels assigned to congregations. If so, what is the angel of Grace Episcopal Church?
I believe Grace hosts the angel of a broken heart.
It is said that one doesn’t really appreciate love songs, or country music, until one’s heart has been broken. The logic, I think, is that broken hearts open us to wisdom and pain.
I believe Grace’s angel is of a broken heart because I have heard your stories. I have listened to your faith journeys about where God was (or wasn’t) in your life prior to Grace. And then, you saw this beautiful church on the hill and were drawn to its doorstep. Once you walked inside you knew you were home.
The angel of Grace is one who calls those whose hearts have been broken. Grace’s angel is one who comforts those whose hearts are broken, binds them up, and gives them strength to continue.
The Spirit of the Lord will bind up the broken hearted, will comfort those who mourn, will give release to those who are held captive, and give sight to those who cannot see. (Isaiah 61:1-3, Luke 4:18) That same spirit is alive and wellat Grace.
Some have walked into Grace and have received sight because they see the world differently. Things that used to get them down no longer have much effect. People who were invisible because they were in need are now seen. Things that used to make them angry no longer do. That is the Spirit of Grace.
Others have come to Grace tired, worn out, beaten up, and tossed out of life. The Spirit gave them new direction and new life. Some have walked into Grace with heavy hearts, mourning loved ones that they see nolonger. And the Spirit has started a
healing process within them and isturning their sorrow into joy, their pain into gladness, and their tears into peace.
The angel over Grace is one for those with a broken heart. And, just like with country music, if you have a broken heart, you understand Grace.
Enter into grace, and let the healing begin.
- Fr. Dave