Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, October 08, 2012

Rector's Rambling - September 30, 2012 - St. Michael and All Angels

This time last year I was away on my “mini-sabbatical” after 10 years as Rector of this wonderful parish.  One thing that I missed while away was the celebration of St. Michael and all Angels, which we celebrate today!
The Feast Day is actually on September 29th, but is a major day and therefore can be kept on the Sunday following, within the octave, which we are doing today.
Part of my affinity for this feast day is that our regional youth conference is under the patronage of St. Michael, the prince of the angelic host.  The original conference, still held out East (now in Connecticut) chose St. Michael because of his strength and manliness in leading the holy angels against the uprising of Satan and his minions, winning the battle for heaven (see today’s Epistle).  Subsequent off-shoot conferences (Midwest, Southwest, and soon South) continue to hold St. Michael as an example of mature, sure faith and willingness to battle (spiritually) for it.
Although a great many images of the angels are that of cute little children with wings or lovely women with harps, St. Michael is a warrior.  Others of the Archangels, Gabriel (the messenger) and Raphael (health-bringer) are also strong figures rather than a warmer, fuzzier version.  Being neither human nor animal, they are one of the created orders of our Lord, whose image, although appearing in Scripture sometimes in human form, certainly is beyond our limited human comprehension.  But angels are everywhere around us; to help us to worship, to aid us in battle against the assaults of the evil one, and sometimes to deliver to us a message from the most high.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle, be our strong guard against the snares and wickedness of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O prince of the heavenly host thrust into hell Satan and all evil forces that wander the world seeking the ruins of souls.  This we pray in Jesus’ Holy Name.  AMEN.