Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Let's be like angels to one another

WHO are our personal angels? Is it the person who took the trouble to find my telephone number and call to tell me that he had found my wallet? Is it the staff of the NHS and all the wonderful things they do to care for us? Might it be the breakdown service patrolman who rescued us on a dark, damp night?

We all have our experience of our fellow humans acting in what we consider to be an angelic way.

What is angelic behaviour? The examples I have described are of our fellow humans looking out for us and often going beyond what we might expect. This improves the lot of us as individuals and the life of our communities.

What is the nature of an angel? Our human examples show us care and love. I think that we all have our own thoughts of what actual angels are like and the overriding impression is that of someone looking down and caring for us.

In this way angels are a metaphor for god. However, it is easier to cope with the idea of an individual guardian angel than the concept of an omniscient God.

Dorchester Abbey held an exhibition on the theme of angels and a series of events under the title of Realms of Glory. The exhibition, which ran from November until January 6, was of artistic representations of angels. There were examples of paintings from the medieval, renaissance and more recent eras. These represented examples from scripture, such as images of the annunciation, and depictions of angels in the guardian role that I have already explored.

Realms of Glory culminated in an event where all present were encouraged to think about angels and their interaction with us and characters in the Bible.

The meditations were: Annunciation, Shepherds, Joseph and Magi. We considered the impact of the angels on these characters, the shock that Mary and Joseph experienced and the faith they then displayed and the wonder that the shepherds and wise men must have experienced.

These examples were of angels as messengers of God, our personal experiences are of guardian angels and our other image is of praise.

Let’s all be more like the angels and behave like them towards our fellows, listen in faith to the messages they bring and praise God with loud hallelujahs.

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