by Ruth Owen
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying
“Glory to God in the Highest, and Peace to His people on earth.”
The 1996 movie ‘Michael’ about a grounded archangel is not a great film. The story of tabloid reporters seeking to capitalize on a chain-smoking, beer-guzzling earth-bound angel (portrayed by John Travolta—seriously?) is alternately uber-cute and wildly improbable, with tepid special effects that sometimes seem to ‘misplace’ Michael’s wings. It’s a bit of a train wreck. Yet as flawed as it is, ‘Michael’ is one of my favorite movies because it gets so many things RIGHT about angels. Here’s a few of them.
HE FIGHTS! Michael never backs down from a fight, whether it be with a Brahma bull or a bar full of rednecks. In fact, he delights in it. When he charges his adversaries, he smiles radiantly and cries “BATTLE”!
Too often we’re fooled into thinking angels are gentle beings sitting on clouds playing harps. In reality, angels are God’s enforcers. When Joshua meets the commander of the Lord’s angel army, he’s holding a drawn sword (Joshua 5:13). When David faces mighty Goliath, he announces “I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies”. (1 Samuel 17:45). Both men triumphed over impossible odds because they had the full fighting force of the Lord behind them.
There’s a reason why the Archangel Gabriel told Mary to “Fear Not” (Luke 1:30), and why the herald angels reassured the shepherds (Luke 2:10). It’s because they are big, scary, well-armed dudes. In fact, the word ‘host’ translates as ‘fighting force’.
HE SMELLS LIKE COOKIES. While this isn’t exactly Scriptural, it makes a point. Angels stand in the presence of God (Revelation 8:2). They carry the scent of Heaven, and Heaven smells like “Joy”. It’s summer breezes, fresh rain, clean clothes and the favorite food your Mom cooks. Close your eyes and think of a special smell that brings a smile to your face. That’s what an angel smells like.
HE HAS A PLAN. ‘Angel’ comes from the Greek angelos, meaning ‘messenger’. In other words, angels carry out God’s will on earth. Throughout the movie, Michael makes seemingly arbitrary requests of his human companions, which confound and irritate them. However, by the movie’s end, all these ‘messages’ combine into a bigger picture that renews spirits and repairs broken hearts.
When you ask God to send his angels to fight with you in your battle for healing, He’s mobilizing a crack squadron of elite, well-armed fighters who delight in beating the enemy to a pulp. You may not see or hear it, but they are standing around you, with swords drawn, crying ‘BATTLE!’