September. The month of the feast of Michael and all Angels.(Sept.29th).August 18, 2016
As the Feast falls near the equinox, the day is associated with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days. In England it is one of the ‘Quarter Days’, on which servants were hired, rents due, or leases begun. It used to be said that harvest had to be completed by Michaelmas, marking the end of the productive season, and the beginning of the new cycle of farming.
But I wonder what September means for you? For some, the memories of beginning a new year in School, or slight feelings of sadness as Summer dies away. For others the re-reading of Keats’ poem ‘To Autumn’ with the lovely opening lines
“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness! Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;”
For nearly all of us September is also the month of Harvest thanksgiving festivals in our parish Churches, when vegetables and produce and flowers fill the air with their unforgettable harvest scents.
But for me, September is about Angels.
The concept of them has always fascinated me. Every Sunday they are mentioned in our worship –‘with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven’….
Angels are messengers from God. I believe that throughout our lives God sends his angels to visit us; not angels with feathers(!) but ordinary people who act as channels of grace. These are the people who perhaps give us a message or guidance at just the right time, people who tell us something we need to hear.
These messengers would never call themselves ‘angels’ nor would we initially recognise them as such.
But discerning the needs of others ,which is the work of the Holy Spirit, and carrying a message of hope or compassion or joy or above all, love, is what angels do. Thank God for them, and think of a time in your life when an angel visited you!
I close with a quotation by G.K.Chesterton:
‘Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly’