Thought for the Day by Bob Shaw (St Michael’s)
The Book of Revelation is quite unique isn’t it? It was written when the early church was under severe persecution, and it portrays in graphic language a time of great conflict between good and evil. One of the characteristics of Revelation is the regular appearance of God’s holy angels and in today’s reading we are given one of their names, Michael.
If you have ever visited St. Michael’s cathedral in Coventry you must have been impressed by the majestic sculpture at the entrance which shows Michael as a warrior defeating Satan. Visitors to the cathedral cannot fail to get the message of good triumphing over evil, of God having the final word. The present cathedral replaced a building which was bombed by the Germans in 1940. The prominent sculpture represents much of the subsequent ministry of Coventry cathedral where former adversaries have been brought together in the spirit of peace and forgiveness, thereby promoting reconciliation and healing in our troubled world.
However, you don’t need to be ‘sent to Coventry’ to get this experience because we have a similar work of art in Headingley. If you walk down Bennett Road you can see Michael above the entrance to the former church hall where he is similarly portrayed as a warrior using his spear to tackle a dragon who represents the devil. Having a church in our team dedicated to St Michael and All Angels is surely a reminder of God’s presence with us through His guardian angels. As followers of Jesus we can join forces together and defeat the evil satanic forces that threaten not only the entire human race but also the created world around us that we have been specifically called to protect.
Our Lord Jesus himself taught his disciples to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom here on earth through the power of forgiveness that will bring us deliverance from the power of evil. The Lord’s Prayer is a powerful weapon that we can use especially during these times of tribulation. So, encouraged by Michael and all the angels, let us pray the Our Father each day making sure that we concentrate on each petition.