Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I went for a stroll around our Norfolk Island cemetery the other day in search of angels. I was looking for stone and marble angels to photograph for Diana, who is "collecting" them! Now I am not sure of the significance of the coffee jar in this first picture, but then again, graves can be very personal!
Now, angels have been hi-jacked by popular culture in recent times. My Bible Dictionary tells me they are messengers of God, with a special ministry to mankind. Sadly, God, whom the angels worship and serve, is often by-passed or ignored in the modern feel-good, and sometimes tacky portrayal of angels. They are often confused with the more make-believe order of fairies. I hope I have not offended anyone here - I think fairies are wonderful mythological creatures and in that role, a great force for good! I grew up on fairies, but I am glad to say I did not grow out of my faith in God - and His Angels - when I came to the stage of being a little sceptical about the fairies at the bottom of the garden!
Cherubim are especially popular in the portrayal of angels, although once again, in popular culture, there is often a bit of confusion with Cupid. My fellow needleworkers are especially guilty of this.

There has always been a strong awareness of the role of angels when a loved one dies. It is often when it is the death of a loved one who dies young, or unexpectedly or undeservedly.

Perhaps it is because of a feeling of helplessness that we mentally hand over the protection and care of that person to God's angels, and in Luke 16, it is suggested that angels carry the "righteous dead" into the bosom of Abraham. Sometimes it is the rather mistaken notion that because that person or child was "good" that they will become angels themselves. Indeed God promises that we will be like the Angels in that we will dwell in His Glory and freely praise and worship him as they do!

Anyway, as you can see from the pictures, we depict angels in many forms. Some look very human, and that is how they often appeared to mankind in the Bible.

I could only find two actual headsones that incorporated angels.

 The rest were ornaments sitting under the headstone or at the foot of the grave. Distance and freight costs have undoubtedly had an effect on the variety and elaborateness of memorials and headsones here on Norfolk Island.

As you can see, our cemetery on Norfolk Island is beautiful and well-cared for, and its location is extremely desirable - right beside a picturesque beach, with blue-green waters, wonderful rockpools, and foamy breakers.
I have not shown anything of the fascinating convict era section of our cemetery. That will be the subject of a future posting!

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