Twenty-five years ago, I was singing in church on Christmas Eve when I heard a voice speak into my ear, “The angels sang when you were born!”
I responded, “No they didn't! They only sang when Jesus was born!” I had been taught in my Pentecostal church to reverence how the angels sang with great joy upon the birth of Jesus, but never had I received any message that the angels sang over anyone else. Having been steeped in this theological frame, when I heard the words spoken into my ear, I completely dismissed them.
The voice tenderly and lovingly repeated, “The angels sang when you were born.”
Lest you think someone was standing next to me and pranking me, as the congregation sang “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, there was no one physically standing there and speaking those words to me. Yet I heard them as clearly as if someone I could touch, see, and feel had spoken those words to me. After hearing this proclamation the second time, I began to sob. How was it that no one ever told me this before? As I began to take in this message in its fullness, I could no longer sing, speak or stand. All I could do was to fold my body down into my seat and continue to weep.
I could still hear the congregation in the background of my experience as they sang one carol after another. Yet, the deeper worship experience I was having that night came in the voice of the angels reminding me of the boundlessness of God's love for me. These words keep washing over my soul that Christmas Eve night with an experience of holy I not known before.
There were two miracles I experienced that Christmas Eve. One miracle was that I heard the proclamation -- a message I never anticipated hearing. The second was that these words resonated deeply in my soul as divine truth, despite the decades of teaching I had received that my birth was spiritually insignificant, perhaps even inauspicious.
Hearing those words 25 years ago changed my life. All the feelings of not being good enough and the belief that I couldn't do enough to earn God's love washed away. I began living my life guided by a deeper understanding and embrace of God's unconditional love.
The angels sang when I was born! As I contemplated on that it was clear to me that the angels sing over each one of us. Not our births only but throughout the journey of our lives. They sing songs of encouragement and songs of lament. They sing songs to remind us of who we are and whose we are. They sing songs of hope and renewal and possibility. Songs of comfort in our loneliest saddest moments. Songs of liberation when we are bound by our circumstances, thoughts or beliefs.
Whatever you've been through or maybe experiencing right now, nothing in all creation can stop the songs of the angels intended just for you. May you experience the miracle of hearing the angels sing in honor and celebration of who you are. Hallelujah!