GLIMPSES OF THE GLORY OF GOD – EASTER 7

GLIMPSES OF THE GLORY OF GOD
John 17:1-11

We often talk about a person’s glory in life. Sometimes it’s an event that has brought great glory such as a baseball player hitting a home run in an important game, or an actress basking in accolades after a successful performance. At other times it is an accomplishment over years of hard work. A person winning the Noble prize certainly is a example of great Glory in that persons life. Nations and peoples in all parts of the world share in their Glory. It is often wrapped up in a person’s success or position in life. People talk about an election campaign as a “road to glory”. Other’s talk about their children as the glory of their lives.

In fact we all like to bask in a little bit of glory. I like the story of William Howard Taft’s great -granddaughter. When she was asked to write her autobiography in the third grade, the young lady responded: “My great-grandfather was President of the United States, my grandfather was a United States senator, my father is an ambassador, and I’m a brownie.”

Here and there and now and then we catch glimpses of God’s Glory. We can see the Glory of God in the lives of people. Sometimes their glory is a glimpse of God’s Glory. We also catch of glimpse of God’s great Glory in Creation. Some of the Psalms talk of this “The heavens are telling the glory of God…” (Psalm 19:1). I have always loved Psalm 29 because it reminds me of many thunderstorms that I experienced while living on the prairies. You can almost hear the storm in the distance coming closer and closer until it bursts upon us:

3The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
7 The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

Robert Raines in his book To Kiss the Joy (Word 1976) writes:

…as we rounded the bend in one mountain we came upon a sudden blue lake, with ranges of pyramid pines stretching for miles behind. I was really taken aback. There was one young man who really expressed how he felt. He pulled his car over to the side of the road and had gotten out his trumpet and was blowing a heartfelt melody to the gods. A really glorious thanksgiving!

We catch glimpses of the Glory of God in a piece of music or poetry that speaks deeply to the heart and completely overwhelms us. It is a thrill of wonder.

As someone has described the music of Bach, “When I get to the organ and tune it, I always play Bach…some people claim Bach is tiresome and monotonous, but I don’t agree. Oh, he groans a little, but he never stops praising God. He is a praiser and not a mourner. And when I play him I praise a little too.”
(From Conrad Richter A simple, Honourable Man). It is a touch of Glory.

*

No where do we get a better glimpse of God’s Glory than in the sacrificial lives of men and women. On this mother’s day we extol the virtues of the good mother and talk about the sacrifices that they make in order that their children will have a more abundant life. Statements are made on this day like: “God couldn’t be everywhere at all times so God made mothers” A certainly God’s greater Glory can be seen in the sacrificial love of moms for their families

We also see that God is revealed in the lives of many men and women who are willing to give their lives on behalf of others. The words of Jesus. “greater love has no one than to lay down their lives for others” is frequently quoted when soldiers die defending their country. We catch a glimpse of God’s Glory in any act of heroism performed for others in the face of great danger.

This is what is behind the Gospel today when Jesus talks about glorifying the Father and the Father glorifying him. His glory was in the life which was lived and given for others. He lived for others throughout his life and eventually he would even die for others. This is the way that God is revealed to us and wherever the Love of God is revealed to us we are in the presence of God’s Glory.

*

On of the early Christian writers said that “The Glory of God was Man, fully human and fully alive” . There is no better way to live our lives than to have God’s Great Love revealed to the world through our lives. I think that Charles Spurgeon put it well in his book Boice:

‘To whom be glory forever.” This should be the single desire of the Christian.

He may desire to see his family well brought up, but only that ”To God may be glory forever.”

He may wish for prosperity in his business, but only so far as it may help him to promote this-‘‘To whom be glory forever.”

He may desire to attain more gifts and more graces, but it should only be that ”To him may be glory forever.”

At my work behind the counter, or in the exchange, let me be looking out see how I may glorify him. If I be walking in the fields, let my desire be that the trees may clap their hands in his praise – Never be silent when there are opportunities, and you shall never be silent for want of opportunities. At night fall asleep still praising your God. In afflictions praise him; out of the fires let your song go up; on the sick-bed extol him; dying, let him have your sweetest notes. Let your shouts of victory in the combat with the last great enemy be all for him; and then when you have burst the bondage of mortality, and come into the freedom of immortal spirits, then, in a nobler, sweeter song, you shall sing unto his praise. Be this, then, your constant thought-”To him be glory forever.”

Whatever we do let it be to the Glory of God. I don’t know whether you have noticed but my prayers at every meeting and gathering since coming into this parish has always ended with:

Go before us, O Lord, in all our doings and further us with your continual help, that all our work begun, continued and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

There is nothing that I want better than to keep myself open for those glimpses of the Glory of God in the world and in the midst of my life and I also hope that the words of my prayer will be continue to be on my lips and in my life.

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Carol is a Yoga therapist, talented singer-songwriter and an alternative health practitioner.

Check Out her web site CARLY’S STRENGTH

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