I remember fondly from my childhood a particular print that hung on a wall at home. The image was of a guardian angel watching over children walking across a rickety and damaged bridge over a gorge.

The oft-adapted famous painting is usually listed as ‘Lindberg Heilige Schutzengel’ (‘Holy Guardian Angel’), though the name of the actual artist is the subject of some conjecture. (Lindberg was one of the poster printers for the work, not its creator.) Perhaps you can picture it. And, if you can, perhaps like me, you found a sense of comfort and safety in the image. It reminds me of our cover text Psalm 91:11 – ‘God will command his angels to protect you wherever you go’.

I also remember that, on the night the woman who gave that picture to my mum died, it fell off the wall. Was that just a coincidence? I guess I’ll never know.

Of course, believing that angels are a reality is one thing. Acknowledging that there are demons and other forces of evil active in our world is quite another. But in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, we read again and again about Satan and his dark purposes, just as we are told about the angels who serve and worship the one true God.

In his explanation of the first article of the Apostles’ Creed, Martin Luther says that the evil angels or devils are ‘spirits who were created holy, but sinned and are forever rejected by God; cunning, powerful, and of great number; enemies of God, and of man, [who] endeavour to destroy the works of God’.

No wonder thinking about the devil and his charges working among us can be terrifying.

But the warning of St Peter – ‘Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8) – is not the sum total of this story. God, as Father, Son and Spirit does not allow the Prince of Darkness to be sovereign over the earthly realm. Already in Genesis 3:15, God set in motion the plan for our rescue. And Luther again leaves us in no doubt in his explanation of the second article of the same creed – reminding us that our Lord has redeemed us, ‘purchased and won’ us from ‘sin, death and the power of the devil’.

God is in charge of the world we can’t see AND the world we can see, too.

In this edition, members of our Lutheran family share their reflections on and experiences of ways in which the spiritual and earthly realms intersect. I hope you will find them as enlightening, challenging and encouraging as I have.

In addition, you’ll find in these pages news, views and resources from around our church, along with our popular regular columns and devotional content.

May God bless your reading,


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