Aiya- The Memorial Angel
With a name meaning bird in Hebrew, Aiya is the Memorial Angel. Her story began with a young woman living in Bethlehem. The woman had grown up listening to her mother tell stories of the prophets and the Savior that was to come. Now as an adult the woman could appreciate the gift of faith her mother had given. That faith had provided comfort when her mother passed away but the woman was certain she would always miss her mother's presence. When Jesus was born, this woman was among the first to visut the stable. Day after day, the woman returned but her heart was deeply conflicted. There was the joy that the Savior brought but sadness swirled around her as her thoughts returned again and again to her mother.
As the woman struggled with her sadness, Aiya was always nearby. Aiya put beautiful flowers along her path but the woman didn't see them. Aiya carried a flute's happy tune through the window, but the woman never heard it. Over and over again, Aiya tried to reach the woman but to no avail. Finally feeling as though she would never find a way to connect with her, Aiya had the birds sing as the woman walked to the stable. This time the woman heard the song and smiled. These were birdsongs the woman didn't recognize yet somehow she knew they were for her. As a child, the woman's mother had taught her to recongize the nightingales' song, the cry of the seagulls, and the coo of the foves. Happy memories of her mother cam as she rcalled how she would sometimes find her mother in their garden listening to the birds sing and watching them gliding on the breeze. Once she arrived at the stable, the woman was astonished to discover a brilliant white dove perched on the edge of the manger. Depsite the nose, the animals and the people, the bird was entirely at ease with an unseen Aiya sittingbeside her. The Baby Jesus was himself smiling at the dove and it seemed the beautiful bird was cooing in reply. When the dove clamly looked at the woman, it peacefully took flight carrying a piece of straw from the manger. The bird flew softly by the woman and gently dropped the straw. Aiya guiden the straw into the woman's hands. WHen she opened her hands she discovered not straw but rather a tiny perfect white rose. With this, the grief finally left the young woman and she knew that her mother had been and would always be with her in spirit. In her head, the woman heard her mother's voice saying:
Although you cannot see me with you I still remain
I am you bridge to heaven and one day you'll be the same
So when you fell alone and no longer feel me near
Just look around for signs and you'll know that I am here.
From that moment, Aiya became the Memorial Angel and was charged with comforting the grieving. Whenever a loved one passes, she is there for those left behind reminding them in many little ways that love lives on forever.
The summons came suddenly. Anthony understood what he had to do, the importance of his mission. Swiftly he hefted a two-edge sword, fastened a cloak about his shoulders. Holding the message he had been entrusted to deliver, he projected himself into the dreams of a slumbering carpenter in a small Judean village. His angelic powers shaped an image of himself, and the man stiffened in his sleep.
"Get up, Joseph!" Anthony commanded. "Take your family and leave now for Egypt! King Herod is searching for the child-he means to kill him. Even now the soldiers are receiving his orders. You will be safe in Egypt. Stay there until God sends word. I will guard you on your journey. You will not see me, but I will be with you. Rise now-make haste!"
Joseph bolted upright on the straw mat. His wife turned sleepily to see what was the matter. After his urgent whisperings, she sat up, instinctively checking the baby in his cradle. Then she rose and began to bundle things together while her husband harnessed their donkey.
Anthony flew to Earth, his rippling wings and battle gear invisible to human eyes. He hovered above as the little family stole past a sleeping gatekeeper. Mary held Jesus protectively from her seat on the donkey. She saw the hesitation on Joseph's face. The main road lay before them. Another trail curved to the left. At its bend Joseph saw the glint of something metallic. "This way," he said, and he turned the donkey down the lesser path. When he reached the place where he had seen the gleam, there was another, farther off.
They followed the gleam of Anthony's sword the rest of the night. It directed them into a cave at morning's light-the same light that struck the helmets of the soldiers entering Bethlehem.
Joseph squeezed Mary's hand as he helped her off the donkey. "God's angel is watching over us." She nodded. "Does it not say, 'He will command his angels concerning you, to guard in all your ways'?" (Psalm 91:11)
Estella thought the stars were among the Lord's most magnificent achievements. Each amazing point of light occupied its own little space in Heaven. Most angels looked forward to the sunrise each day, but Estella watched sunsets with anticipation. "Soon the stars will be shining again!" she thought, watching the bright red sun drop below the horizon.
One day an exciting announcement was made in Heaven. The Lord proclaimed that His Son would be born among the people of Earth. He told the angels that Jesus would grow into adulthood, bringing His message of love and forgiveness to all people. "Praise be to You!" sang the angels in glorification. "Praise to our Father!"
Each heavenly citizen prepared to celebrate the Savior's birth. Erela, the director of Heaven's orchestra, rehearsed the symphony and choir together until their songs were perfect. Rayna, a member of the choir and Estella's closest friend, practiced hymns of thanksgiving until each note rang as clearly as a silver bell. The gentle Rosannah tended her celestial rose garden, saving the most fragrant blooms for the Baby Jesus.
"What can I do to honor the Savior's birth?" wondered Estella. "He will be born in a tiny stable in the middle of the night. How will people find Him to pay their respects?"
The angel drew a chart of the stars in Bethlehem's sky as it would look on that special night. A smile brightened her lovely face when she discovered a star would shine directly on the Savior's birthplace. And a plan formed in her mind.
Finally the day of Jesus' birth arrived. Every angel in the heavenly host prepared to celebrate this most wondrous event. And once again, Estella glowed with excitement when the sun set. As the stars began to twinkle, the angel prayed, "Please, Lord, let my humble gift shed light on your Son, who will bring His light to all Your people." In answer to her prayer, one special star glowed more brightly than any other, shedding a radiant light over the tiny stable where Jesus had just been born.
No Figures in the Bible are a delightful as angels. They are wise in God’s ways and gentle in their speech and actions. Angels burst upon events with joy and understanding of man that brings us closer to God every day. Perhaps this happens because only angels are given special jobs by God that require them to associate with men and women on earth.
Angels bring a touch of the divine to all those hearing their messages and they’re given responsibility for making all of the world’s greatest announcements. This is the story of such an announcement.
Nearly two thousand years ago in the Holy Land, a decree was issued by the Emperor of Rome. All citizens were told to return to the home of their ancestors for a census. Among those returning to Bethlehem were a poor carpenter named Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary. The two traveled all the way to Bethlehem from a great distance with nothing more than a donkey to carry their belongings.
Although they did not know it at the time, God gave a small group of angels a special assignment to watch over this couple. These angels were pretty new, and still learning “angel ways”. But they took their jobs very seriously.
Guiding the young couple over rugged terrain at the beginning of a cold winter, the angels did what they could to prepare the way. But even their best efforts were of no avail when it came to finding shelter for the two in the crowded town. They sang sweetly and used their collective efforts on behalf of Mary and Joseph but in the end, the couple was forced to occupy makeshift lodgings in the stable of a Bethlehem inn.
As the night’s stillness settled over the land, an exciting moment came to pass inside the inn’s stable. The angels assigned to care for Mary and Joseph flew closer to earth than ever before to observe the miracle. The fastest of the group swept over the little stable, catching sight of a newborn child through the stable’s shabby, patched roof. And in an instant, the angels’ mission became clear: The little band had been chosen by God to herald the new of the Messiah’s birth!”
With great excitement and joy, the lead angel of the little band broke into a glorious song that flowed out into the cobalt heavens and wrapped around the clouds. It was song of thanksgiving for all mankind to share.
And their melody was heard to all the ends of the earth.