Column: The glory details
“I have made you known to them …” John 17:26, Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane to His Father, God
Jesus’s life and ministry – and crucifixion and resurrection – had one goal: to tell humanity about the love and glory of God. Funny thing is, Jesus IS the love and glory of God. That’s His job. And so is the Creative splendor of heaven and earth.
The Bible is clear on these points from Genesis to Revelation. It’s tempting to dissect and separate the Father from the Son and the Son from the Holy Spirit, in our own minds, because the concurrent individual distinction and yet relational unity of the three persons of the Holy Trinity doesn’t make ready sense to the human brain.
At least not to the part that demands evidence, proof, and self-sufficiency. That must be why God included our capacity for faith and creativity, overlaid it with freedom, and sent His son Christ Jesus into the world to show us God’s glory. It allows us to appreciate God’s real will and purpose, grasp our real identity, share that real truth and point to the exclusive glory of God. That’s the story Jesus came to tell.
Glory, however, is not what it seems, not to humans anyway. The glory of God in Jesus was expressed upon the cross, in humility and sacrifice. Humans more easily relate to God’s glory being expressed with victorious trumpets and white horses.
Come to think of it, it actually IS that, but not here, not in this fallen earthly realm.
We want the victorious white horse Jesus of Revelation 19 – right now! – not the suffering servant Jesus on the Cross in John 19, which is our truth right now.
With that in mind, pay close attention to all that is said in the name of Christianity around us. Examine the song lyrics, the testimonies, the preaching, the prayers, the heartfelt thanksgivings, the fist-pumps and exuberant fingers gesturing toward heaven, or even the celebrity acceptance speeches at awards shows, and reflect on this:
Who, really, are we crediting with the glory?
Well, too often, it’s us. It shouldn’t be; but mistakenly, it is.
The angels announce Christ in Luke 2 with “glory to God in the highest,” assigning ““peace and goodwill” – not glory – to man on earth. The good thief on the cross next to Jesus, by faith got a home in heaven, not release from his earthly suffering. In John 17:24, Jesus speaks to God of “the glory you have given me.”
Jesus, always, gets the glory, and that glorifies God.
Our job is sharing the story, not sharing the glory.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) recommends thanking God but not thinking we are God.