The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch
Canon for Ministry Formation and Transitions
The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in,
from this time forth for evermore.
“And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,” the narrator proclaims with confidence. I almost hold my breath in the pause. The angel of the Lord, in all her radiant splendor, stands tall before the uncertain shepherds as we all anticipate the arrival of her angelic companions.
It is hard to know how any pageant would manage the mechanics of an instantaneous appearance I muse, as I watch these angels of various ages and dispositions make their way into the story purposefully if not quite suddenly. And then I realize there is something sudden about their entrance: unexpected, bold, precipitous and even impulsive. I am no longer watching a handful of children and teens but I am witnessing the heavenly host. What has arrived with their advent is nothing less than the glory of God.
The telling continues and God is glorified with every confident and hesitant step, with each coming and going. And I am transformed from spectator to member of the multitude. The heavenly host is nothing less than this gathered community—dramatis personae, musicians, directors, spotlight operators, generations of relatives, relative strangers, making our entrances and exits. And God is watching over us all.