Thursday, December 4, 2008
Angels from the realms of glory
CAUTION FOR READING...contains mature subject matter.
'Tis the season...for the Victoria's Secret fashion show. The lingerie-clad models winging their flights oer the television screen. They are dressed in festive holiday "apparel," or so I hear. Come and worship us, they beckon with their feathered wings. Your woman can look like me, too. Get her this outfit, these wings, and then worship her. I have to say, is this what Christmas has become? Is this what people look forward to? Are these the angels we want to put on high? What happened to those other angels from the realms of glory, telling the story of the Messiah's birth? And why have these ideas of womanhood become objects of worship? What about the cry of the heavenly host to come and worship Christ?
A favorite Christian author and literary hero to me is Lauren Winner. Lauren writes a great book that exposes our way of thinking about our bodies and our intimate relationships, Real Sex. In this book, she discusses the Victoria's Secret phenomenon and brings to light a telling truth about our cultural obsession with sex...she reminds us that sexual images bury themselves in our minds and in our relationships and eventually chip away at good intimacy. She says that these images teach us that real bodies aren't good enough, and that "real sex" happens only in a fantastic, other-worldly way. God, who cares enough about the people he has created, chooses to inhabit our bodies in the birth of the Christ child. And so, I'm certain, our bodies and how we approach them matter to God. I doubt these angels are what he had in mind. So, each time I am bombarded with the fluffy-winged images, I am going to remember those other angels who proclaimed a redeemed flesh--that God in our skin is here! And that he bids us choose respect and love over gratification and desire. In excelsis deo!