Friday, March 6, 2009


Since last week we took a quick look at zodiac (and further, since there were no other requests this week) I thought we might keep our eyes focused on the sky for a spell.

If you were looking up at the sky here in northeast Ohio today what you would mostly see is clouds. At least they are not heavy with snow. (And I love snow, but I think I need a break.) When clouds part they reveal our bright blue sky above. That is why blue is considered the color of truth, for when the clouds part it is seen in all of its vastness and glory, an analogy to the unveiling of truth.

Often clouds are associated with heaven also. This makes sense since heaven is often referred to as being “up there” though it is not of this realm at all. But “the heavens” help us speak about this place. In pictures of the Ascension or the Assumption, Christ or Mary are often seen as being surrounded by clouds as they enter the heavenly gates.

A common sign of God the Father is a hand of creation reaching down from a big fluffy cloud. Clouds themselves may be symbolic of the unseen God.

I’m reminded of a passage from Ken Follett’s book, Night Over Water “The day war broke out was a lovely late summer day, mild and sunny.” It struck me because of the juxtaposition of war against a lovely summer day. If you look at many paintings of the life of Christ, or the Stations of the Cross, or even portraits of the saints, the clouds or lack thereof play a strong symbolic role more than an attempt at a factual presentation of how the clouds may have appeared that day. They set the mood and would rarely if ever have the striking contrast of the Follett book.

Just as an interesting side note - while looking for images to put with this post I found this news article about the Phillipine Government putting out a health warning concerning crucifixion. But is it approved by the FDA?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you notice that the Filipino crucifixion festival is sponsored by Coca Cola!