Today's angel is made of plush and felt and lace, to be cute and cuddly.
Or Strong and Mighty?
Real Angels are, of course, not soft and huggable. The Bible gives some definitive information about angels, including the attributes of strength and power and might and authority, beyond the confines of a physical body subject to the physical laws of nature. They are spirits. They are confirmed in their bliss, perfectly good, living in the presence of God, and living to do His bidding. They don't marry, they don't die, they can't be hurt. But they do rejoice, specifically when a sinner comes to repentance. They praise God continually. They are often noisy. In fact, many Biblical references speak of them as they shout, proclaim in a loud voice, trumpet, and make a great sound.
|oooops. Maybe not.....|
Ancient pictures of angels show strong males, often with swords in combat with the devil, from the reference in Jude to the archangel Michael when contending with the devil in a dispute about the body of Moses. Or they would show the angel Gabriel in any of his Biblical missions, to Daniel, to Zachariah, to Mary, and in the vision of the apostle John.
In the last couple of centuries depictions of angels have been romanticised as being beautiful ladies or cute babies. Angels are neither. They are perfect, so they are ageless. All Biblical references to them are male. At the same time, they do appear on occasion to mankind and evidently there is no restriction on the form they can take, so it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they could also come in the guise of a woman or child. It would be, however, without wings. Still, for arts sake, we can take liberties with reality and make angels how we like, so long as we are not blasphemous.
It is worth noting that the term angel is also used in the Bible for anyone who gives a message from God or proclaims His word, or carries out His judgments, and also is used as as title for Christ Himself. So, in a generic sense, anyone can be an angel.
Tomorrow starts the December countdown to Christmas for all the Advent calendars. Enjoy.