Imagine if angelic beings went to school to learn to become guardian angels. They would probably have a lot of questions about the strange things that humans do on earth. They would need to study humans closely and learn the best ways to lead them into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. In this Angel Academy short story, the angels learn how to prevent their humans from taking God’s name in vain.
Zamir didn’t realize he was doing it at first, but ever since class began he was humming the tune to the “Holy, Holy, Holy” that the angels sing eternally to the Lord. At first the angels’ teacher, Barachiel, didn’t mind, but eventually the humming became a distraction for the other angels in the class.
“Zamir, would you mind quieting down for the sake of the rest of the class, please?” said the Archangel Barachiel.
“Oh, sorry sir,” said Zamir and he went back to his work.
A few minutes later, however, he started to hum again without realizing it.
“Zamir!” said the teacher. “You are humming again.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, sir!” he said, but this time he raised his hand to ask a question.
“Yes?” said the teacher.
“Sir, can I confess something?” said the student.
“Yes, you can speak freely here,” said the teacher.
“It’s just that I’m having a hard time getting the song out of my head. I really enjoy being here in heaving singing praise to God’s holy name. Can I admit that I’m not 100 percent excited about heading down to earth?”
The rest of the class was shocked, but all of them could admit that they had a some small share in this feeling as well.
Their teacher smiled. “That’s understandable. In fact, that desire to be here with the Lord is exactly what you will need to share with the human who you will guard.”
“Don’t they already have that desire?” asked Zamir.
“Yes, the Lord has placed a desire for himself on the hearts of every human, but they don’t always realize this. It is hard to stay focused on God when there are so many distractions.”
The class listened intently as the teacher went on, “What you have is a deep love for the Lord. You have spent your entire existence praising God’s name. The humans only get to experience that opportunity to praise God’s name every so often. In fact, many of them tend to use God’s name in vain as a poor habit from time to time.”
An angel in the back of the room gasped. “They use God’s name . . . in vain? They say his name as a bad word? How? Why?”
“Here, let me know show you something,” said the teacher pulling down the projector screen. The screen lit up and the angels could see sentences appear on the screen. Each sentence began with one of the names of God. A new sentence appeared at the top of the screen bumping down the others every few seconds.
“What you see here are every instance of on man’s call upon the name of the Lord,” said the teacher.
Each new line popped up on the screen. Some were prayers and songs the man recited in church. Some were personal and spontaneous prayers with petitions for the Lord. There were many instances of the Lord’s Prayer beginning, “Our Father . . .”
Then, a sentence in red appeared on the screen. “What’s that?” asked the angel Zamir.
“That is a time in which the man used God’s name in vain. He didn’t call upon the name of the Lord in praise, prayer, or thanksgiving. Instead, he used God’s name as a curse.”
The sentences continued to appear more rapidly now. Every so often a red sentence appeared showing a time in which the man used God’s name in vain. Each time, the angels in the class cringed and groaned in pain.
“Sir, what can we do to stop this?” asked Zamir.
“As I said before, your desire to be here with the Lord praising his holy name is a great asset. Share that love for the Lord with the one you guard. Ask for the Lord to grant them joy in proclaiming his name and pain in taking the name in vain.”
“Does the man ever stop this sin?” asked an angel.
“Yes he does,” said Barachiel. “Here, let’s look at two particular moments in which he called on God’s name.” The teacher paused the projection for a moment and pointed out a red and a black sentence.
“You’ll notice here the man curses in the name of the Lord.” The teacher pointed to a sentence on the screen that read:
Jesus Christ that hurt!
It made the angels cringe again.
“Now, look at this next sentence in black. It is a prayer the man said that night before bed.”
Jesus, I am so sorry for cursing in your name. I have set a horrible example for my daughter. When I heard her curse in your name, I was shocked and angry. I yelled at her, but she’s right. She learned it from me. I’m the one setting the example for her. I tell her to say her prayers every night and here I am cursing in your name. I’ve been such a bad role model. God, help me to overcome this awful habit to show her the kind of man I am.
“Wait, what happened?” asked Zamir.
“The man’s daughter cursed in Jesus’ name later that day as well,” said their teacher. “She learned it from her father.”
“No! Not a child!” said another angel in the class.
“First, the man yelled at his daughter for cursing. Then the girl told him she heard him say it. She didn’t see why she couldn’t say God’s name in vain if her father did it,” explained Barachiel.
“At that point the guardian angels were hard at work. The man’s guardian asked God to strengthen his shame and feelings of guilt. The girl’s guardian asked God to give her the courage to speak up and defend herself.”
“And then he prayed this prayer later in the day?” asked Zamir.
“Yes, that’s right,” said the teacher. “He felt compelled to turn to God in prayer. The girl, incidentally, did as well,” said the teacher.
“Did he ever do it again?” asked Zamir.
“Only a few more times did he fall into the bad habit,” said the teacher. “Eventually, with the help of God’s grace and the support of his guardian, the man broke free of the habit and only used God’s name in prayer and praise.”
“I think I would be discouraged in all this failure,” said an angel.
“If you get discouraged, just do as Zamir has been doing this whole time,” said the teacher. “Keep the song of praising God’s holy name in the back of your mind. Keep yourself focused on Jesus and help the ones you guard do the same.”
“Let’s all sing the tune to Holy, Holy, Holy, while we work on our assignments,” said the angel sitting next to Zamir.
“Yeah, let’s do it!” said another angel.
The class returned to their work at their desks and started to sing:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.”
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