Mercury Theater is branded in the memory of American ethos because of one infamous radio broadcast on Halloween eve, October 30th, 1938. It was an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” and was the genius work of a young Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater company. Wells adapted the classic novel and changed the setting to the true town of Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, in the United States. Although Welles issued a disclaimer at the beginning of the broadcast, averring this was a dramatic adaptation of the famous science fiction novel, many listeners missed this introduction or simply ignored it. The result was hysteria and panic when thousands thought the earth was being invaded by Martians. Many anxiously rushed to Grover’s Mill and imagined tall water towers as evidence of the invading Martian spacecraft.
Our imaginations can sometimes create a more frightening and sensational encounter than reality. Words cannot adequately describe everything and we allow our imaginations to fill in the gaps. The same story or production may result in many different and sometimes, contradictory interpretations, far removed from the original intentions of the author.
And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle.
Ezekiel 1:5-10 (ESV)
Ezekiel was an eyewitness to the glory of God. His attempts to describe it, recorded in the entire first chapter of the Book of Ezekiel, catapults the reader through a maze of wondrous images. For centuries, theologians and artists alike have attempted to interpret and reconstruct these surreal descriptions. The images have ranged from literal interpretations to flights of fancy with several pundits proclaiming that Ezekiel was describing an encounter with extraterrestrial aliens visiting the earth. I certainly do not wish to add to the confusion but present one animated interpretation of this epic chapter.
If Ezekiel’s descriptions are difficult to interpret, it is completely understandable. How can one ever fully capture the glory of God? As believers in Jesus Christ, we don’t have to imagine or conjure fantastical images of God’s glory. God, through His Holy Spirit, indwells within us and He reveals His glory through faith and belief in His Son, Jesus Christ.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 (ESV)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Colossians 1:15 (ESV)
We can know the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God through the unique revelation of His Son, Jesus Christ. His glory and magnificent beauty are only truthfully represented by Jesus. While we do not presently see His face, we will behold His full glory someday in Heaven. Until then, His glory is manifest in our lives through the workings of the Holy Spirit, transforming and conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.