Angel is the Greek word for “messenger.” Today is the feast day of Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, archangels.
Much confusion exists about angels today – fueled mainly by a movement within the country toward a so-called “spirituality.” Not the traditional definition of the word, but rather the hijacking of the term by those who profess something along these lines:
- I think that all religions are more or less the same
- It doesn’t matter where (or if) you go to church, as long as you live a moral life and believe in Jesus
- Therefore – I prefer to call myself not religious but rather, spiritual
The short-comings of such thoughts are many – but I think at the core this is driven by a disordered fascination with individualism that is rampant in America today. These old-fashioned denominations are okay for some, but I have some personal, unique insight that just can’t be met by them. I’ll do my own thing – I’ll journey with God in my own way.
And in typical American style, this spirituality movement has been snatched up by clever marketers who make all sorts of angel stuff these days. Books, prints, statues and the like. Lots of the materials available are quite poor theologically (by any denominational viewpoint).
As you go about your day ponder these thoughts about angels:
- Angels do not have bodies – they are spirits possessing intellect and free will – only in encounters with humans in Scripture do they assume the use of a body
- Sacred Scripture identifies nine choirs of angels – angels, archangels, virtues, powers, principalities, dominations, thrones, cherubim and seraphim
- Angels are often depicted as “fairies” assisting people with decisions and such – this is not the nature of an angel
- Angels are incredibly powerful – MUCH more powerful that humans – an angel could will that the earth smash into the sun and it would happen
- Angels are not God – they are God’s messengers – sometimes tragic things happen to people, that is the nature of free will in a fallen world, not because your guardian angel wasn’t looking out for you
Just wondering if then there is any basis for human need to “personalize” these beings with names etc. I like to refer to my Guardian Angel as Justin.