The Christmas season is so full of angels with all the light and joy that accompany them. It's a wonderful time of year. And then we're past Christmas and on to the new year with all its opportunities and challenges. Maybe the prospects for the new year are kind of grim; the joy of Christmas seems far away. The angels are gone – or are they?
Actually, they aren't. They are as available now as on Dec. 24, 25, or any other day. That's because they aren't chubby cherubs who are part of the Christmas wrappings. They are, as Mary Baker Eddy described them, "God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality" ("Science and Health and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 581).
The spiritual intuitions we receive from God – His angels – will be sure guides for whatever we face in the new year. Angels strengthen and minister to us. As God's messengers, they reveal His presence and lead us to good. But unlike much that's been said about angels, they aren't just for happy times. They're here to counteract "all evil."
Angels may be simple thoughts – inspiration about how to juggle seemingly irreconcilable demands; a feeling of courage, even in the face of danger; an insight into how to make limited funds go further. But they may also be intuitions that give one strength to resist injustice or to turn one's life in a new and better direction for the new year. They remind us that no matter how hopeless our situation may appear, there is a divine solution.
This is possible because just as angels aren't limited to being here for Christmas only, we aren't limited human beings who are dependent on a God who may or may not care about us. Instead, we are the children of a totally loving God whose interest in us never wanes.
What that means in practical terms depends on what our needs are and how well we can listen for these messengers of Truth and Love.
For example, a woman was given an impossible deadline for a huge project. She felt overwhelmed by the stacks of paper she had to go through in order to complete the project in just one night. But she took time to pray before she began, affirming that divine intelligence would guide her and free her from the anger she felt about what she saw as an unjust situation. This statement from Science and Health came to her: "The footsteps of thought, rising above material standpoints, are slow, and portend a long night to the traveller; but the angels of His presence – the spiritual intuitions that tell us when 'the night is far spent, the day is at hand' – are our guardians in the gloom," (p. 174).
She surely felt "in the gloom" about this project – but she knew that she had to claim her right to experience the "angels of His presence" right there with her. A peace came over her as she began the work, and what was amazing was that each time she needed a certain paper, it was right there, easy to find. She hardly had to search for anything. She felt the power of the spiritual intuitions Mrs. Eddy identified as angels. The project was readily finished by morning.
Even in the darkest hour, angels, God's thoughts, help us. When Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane, almost surely knowing that crucifixion lay ahead, Luke's Gospel says, "There appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him" (22:43).
While we may never face the kind of challenge Jesus did, each of us can trust that during the dark hours of our own lives – whether because of health, finances, or some other issue – "the angels of His presence" will be there with an inspired thought to show us the next step, and then the one after that. Following these pure and good intuitions, we'll find peace and strength in the new year, and always.