Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Angels Without Wings, Please!

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2

One cannot miss angels. They have big white wings on their backs. Not big enough to fly with, but plenty big enough to notice.

People used to have halos too. They were of different styles. Some were a four fold solar disk, such as the one around the huge Egyptian obelisk in St. Peter's square at the Vatican. Others were thin little rings.

Moses is sometimes shown with horns, because the early Catholic Bible, the Vulgate, mistook horns for rays.

I am so sorry that we retain these horrible pagan ideas, inherited from medieval art. Not only is "old" considered better, it is as impossible to extinguish as skunk odor from a wool sweater.

But doesn't the Bible describe angels with wings?

What is in view here are cherubim. And no one ever entertained one of them unawares! We see a detailed description of them in Revelation 4:8. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Ezekiel chapter ten gives us an even more detailed view of these creatures. These are the covering angels around the throne of God.

But old art is filled with winged angels, and now we have little "cherubs" with tiny wings, and bows and arrows (happy Valentine's Day!). Once paganism is allowed out, it is harder to contain than a box full of puppies. If people wish to have these images, what harm? I once wanted to ride on Pegasus.

But where we are going we can soar without wings. We will "fly to our windows like doves", and we won't need wings to do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment