Mother’s column: Angels in the pews


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Children have less problems believing that there are angels with them in the church. Photo EPA, Balazs Mohai

We have a guest preacher today. He preaches about the liberation of Peter from prison and elaborates on the theme of angels.

“Someone once said that every empty spot in the church has an angel,” he recalls. I am not sure whether you can fully substantiate that theologically. Still, such a statement does come into a special light now that we have social distance in church. In any case, it is a Biblical idea that angels are present in worship.

The pastor says they rejoice when the Gospel is proclaimed clearly. In his sermon, he pays attention to the protective task of angels but points out the other side as well. Also, in the same chapter of Acts, it is about Herod Agrippa, who does not give God the glory. He dies on the spot, at the hands of an angel.


Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (8), Abel (6), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (0).

Angels have quietly faded into the background of our thinking over the past centuries. Thomas already said it: first, see, then believe. For Christians today, that thought has only become more tempting. Taking too much account of angels and spiritual evils in the air is mainly from the Middle Ages. Then, people were quick to call things they could not explain supernatural. We know better. And before we realise it, we are wrapped up in the zeitgeist. I certainly am.

The service is coming to an end. We can only read the closing song from Psalm 34. We don’t sing because of the corona risk. “Do you understand why the pastor chose this verse?” I ask my daughter Martha, who does not seem to be paying attention now that we’re not allowed to sing. She jumps up to read the text in my Bible. “It’s also about angels!” “Exactly,” I listen. “It says that the angels surround you as watchmen when you do the will of the Lord.” “Oh, I’ll just stand there now,” she says softly. “Imagine if I sit on top of an angel!”

I’ll let her be. Soon we will all stand anyway for the benediction. “Blessed is the man that trusts in him”, rejoices the organ. And blessed is he who does not rationalise everything but believes, like a child, that God does what He says very concretely. Even if you don’t see it.

This article was translated by CNE.news and was previously published in Dutch magazine Terdege.



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