Reflective Essayfor the Angel Class
The class on Angels was very interesting. Particularly, theintroduction was full of new insights as we learned the reason behindthe names of Archangels such as Gabriel, Michael, Uriel, and Raphael.I learnt that "el" at the ends of the names of theseArchangels is the ancient name for God. Before taking the class, Ihad little information about the Bible. For instance, I was aware ofthe division of the Bible into the Old and the New Testament with theformer having 39 books and the latter 27 books. However, I wasunaware of how some seven books were tossed out by the Protestants,although they are still in use by the Catholic denomination. Theclass also introduced us to the major stakeholders or what may betermed as a council of elders during Jesus’ era named theSanhedrin. It comprised of two groups: Sadducees and the Pharisee. Iwas also not aware that after St. Paul, who followed Jesus as a keyfigure in Christianity, the Sadducees disappeared while the Phariseesare the modern day Rabbis. Although scaring, the Book of Revelationwhich contains the Apocalypse or the message about eschatology wasvery informative. For a Christian scholar, the end times are crucial,particularly when it comes to recognizing the signs as it plays ahuge role in shaping behaviors of the Christians.
The study of ancient religions and believes that cropped up duringthe time of Jesus was very informative. For instance, the classbrought to our attention an ancient religion known as Zoroastrianismthat emerged from the ancient Persian around 660 BCE. I learnt thatunlike Christianity, this religion believed in two gods Ahriman andAhura Mazda. Something else I learnt about this religion is that thetwo gods constantly fight and whenever Ahura Mazda wins everything isgood, and things get worse when Ahriman gains the victory. Thehistory of the Israelites was very informative and inspiring at thesame time. During the class, we learnt about Abraham, his act offaith and the fulfillment of God`s promises to him by granting him ason named Isaac the Father of Jacob. On this note, I learnt why thethree are such central figures in Christianity. The journey of theIsraelites out of Egypt and what transpired in the wilderness wasalso inspiring
During the class, we were introduced to the Quran and the fivepillars of Islam. The five pillars are confession which meansclaiming that Allah is the only God and that Mohammed is his prophet.The second pillar is players where a Muslim has to play five times aday. The other pillars require Muslims to donate to the poor, fastfor a month and make a trip to Mecca. While the two world’sdominant religions are different, I come to learn that the existenceof Angels is one aspect that the two have in common. While I hadlittle information about Islam as a religion, I had not known whatthe name denotes. During the class, I learnt that Islam is based onthe tenets of peace and submission. The foundation of the religion isthat one finds peace through submission to God’s will. I could nothelp, but relate this foundation of Islam to what terrorists claim asthe basis of their heinous acts. Unlike what the terrorists preach, Ilearnt that Islam is a peaceful religion. Besides, I learnt aboutsome of the Orthodox religion, such as the Mormons, who do notbelieve in the holy trinity. Something interesting that was broughtto my attention during the class was while many people take A.D asinitials for After Death, this is not true. The word formed by theseinitials is a Latin one that means the year of our Lord. That wasquite informative.
Not until I took the class that I could tell with conviction whoangels are. I had no clue that there are different types of angelsranked depending on the message they convey. We learnt that angelsare classified into three groups. They posses a free will and choice,are intellect, and even though they are created beings, they arenon-corporeal which means that they do not have a physical body.Before taking the class, I used to wonder where the Angels come fromas nowhere is their creation is narrated. I learnt that the Angelsplay a crucial role as messengers conveying God’s messages to humanbeings. Besides the readings, the class involved several activitiessuch as the visit to the cemetery where we took pictures of angels.We also had a chance to visit the store that sells items associatedwith angels. Apart from the field trip, the class involved watchingthe film the Legend of Bagger Vance. The film resonated with theclass readings, especially the appearance of Bagger Vance played byWill Smith, who offers to help Junuh wins the golf tournament. Whattranspires is mysterious as Junuh starts the tournament badly, butwith Bagger Vince on her side, she emerges victorious. I loved thefilm, and I think that the role Bagger Vance played was similar tothat of the Angels. Just like Angels, Vince Bagger appears with onemission, and while his origin is unknown, he also disappearedmysteriously upon the completion of his mission.