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Michealmas and Rosh Hashannah

Two festivals today, for those who keep festivals.

Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year, which heralds a ten day time of reflection ahead of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Michealas, the day of St Michael and All Angels, a day that was introduced to the church calendar to 'Christianise' the pre-existing pagan rituals that surrounded the autumn equinox.

I'm not much into angelology, and since I learned the word simply means 'messenger' and that the Bible (NT) translates the word differently in differnet contexts, I've always been extra wary.

But these four 'arch-angels of the Lord', three of whom are named in the OT, and are probably part of a bigger group, traditionally numbering seven, who are they?

Michael - the head honcho angel - whose name means "who is like the Lord?"

Gabriel - the Christmas angel - whose name means something like "God is my strength" or "strong one of God"

Raphael - no, not, so far as I am aware a teenage mutant ninja turtle angel, nor yet an artist - whose name means "God heals"

Uriel - the one who is only named in the aprochrypha - whose name means something like "Light of God" or "Flame of God"

Just wondering if maybe messenger and message can in some way be conflated :

There is none like God -

God is my strength

God is my healer

God is my light


A busy day ahead, with zillions of pastoral things involved, so good to start with a few moments beign reminded of God's promises.  PAYG today centred on the encounter of Jesus with the very human Nathaniel, whose name means 'gift of God'.  I guess the thing for me to take with me into the day is, 'how can I be a gift of God (ie from God) to those I meet today?'

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