Saturday, December 08, 2018

Advent Angels 8

Day 8: Warrior Angels

Jewish theology, and the Christian theology which followed it, held that angels had free will, just as humans did.
By the time of Christ, an idea had taken root that some angels had rebelled against God and were determined to try to influence the world for evil. A figure who had originally been simply considered to be a member of the heavenly court appointed to test humanity, called the Accuser (the Satan, in Hebrew) gradually morphed into what was now called the Devil, a figure of evil. He was still a creature, not an equal of God, but was often seen as the moving force behind the evil in the world.

In the book of Revelation the Satan (described here as a dragon) and his angels fight with Michael, the warrior archangel of God. It is a bitter battle, but there is no doubt in the writer’s mind about the outcome. The Satan and his angels are God’s creation, however wrong they have gone, and ultimately under his control.

The book of Revelation was written by an exiled Christian leader at a time of persecution by the Romans. He speaks in coded language of the struggles against oppression which he and his fellow Christians are going through. It may seem that they are in the grip of evil, but it will not last forever. God is good, and his love will eventually triumph over evil.

The archangel Michael, one of the few named angels in the Bible, is usually portrayed in art as a soldier, often treading underfoot a dragon like devil. Churches dedicated to Michael are often located on the tops of hills, like St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, and Mont Saint-Michel in France, because it is felt that they stand at the boundary of earth and heaven. There are often legends attached to them about St Michael fighting with and outwitting the Devil

·         What difference does it make to the way we live our lives if we believe that love is stronger than evil? 

·         Have you ever experienced a real struggle between the temptation to do evil and good in your life? What happened?

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