What About Gloria?!

The band rocked that old Christmas tune out nicely yesterday at Wilson Abbey’s 4th Advent service! Funny, I keep thinking about Van Morrison’s “Gloria” song… well anyhow, I’ve also been thinking about Handel’s “Messiah” -“Glory to God in the highest”, etc.. So…

What does -that- word “glory” mean… especially re. what my wife likes to call the First and Second Testaments?

Of course especially in enthusiastic local church gatherings, revival meetings, among pentecostals and such you hear somebody say “Glory!”, but what’s it about?

OT Hebrew scholars tell us the term we translate “glory” has to do with weight and heaviness. Think “as in the weight of gold”, so a sense of worth, value and such. It has to do with the very Person of God, His honor and therefore bringing us to a heart-attitude of awe, recognizing Who it is we are encountering.

Some have rightly said no other person can add even one thing to Him, certainly not to His nature, character, attributes, virtues. He is perfect, complete within Himself, He is unchanging and therefore we are at best simply realizing/recognizing and in our minds, sometimes with our mouths, behaviors/actions -glorifying- Him for the value, worth and intrinsic honor forever DUE Him for WHO HE IS.

Magnificent. Perfect. Holy. Loving. Gracious.

It’s about Who He is, what He is like, what He does… and being awestruck, thankful, offering praise, honor coming to Him in humility as we consider, ponder, meditate on: Him.

Further, in a Cook County Jail moment a couple months ago I mentioned to the men that the reason worship/praise/thanksgiving truly happening and directed toward God Himself can be difficult and often is left undone by many, even many professing Christians is because the focus in authentic worship extolls HIS value, worth, honor and of course, glory. Our focus is UP, on HIM, not ourselves.

When most of us walk around each day thinking about ourselves and zeroing in on our desires, feelings, needs, etc., it is quite out of our habit to fully focus on Father, Son, Spirit. So OF COURSE we will find it outside the norm, unusual, even difficult to keep our thoughts and attention on Him in personal or corporate worship times. Focus must shift and it takes effort. Some of us are pretty lazy, rather undisciplined in our thought-life.

This is yet another reason Jesus’ words about the fact the Father seeks those who should and do worship Him “in spirit and in truth” are profound words. Put another way, God is looking for people to glorify HIM, not themselves. To recognize how great HE is and…

not how either great -or- miserable and non-great we are.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”(Psalm 91.1) Indeed.

PeopleDoNotMakeThisHappen

When the focus is on Him, we begin to find life, healing, grace to get on with our daily relationships and situations regardless of the circumstances. Yet we do not rightly come to focus on His glory and worship Him to “get” but rather to “realize” WHO HE IS and Who He is in our life. It really -is- about Him.

The residual blessings of our relationship are massive, but like a young child at Christmas, some of us blow right past our parents, brothers and sisters looking for OUR presents. It’s about us, not Him, nor the family. Then comes (hopefully, in time but not always… sigh…) maturity where God and others are our real and normal concern, not merely ourselves and our gifts or supposedly “deserved” blessings.

Certainly there is no sin in seeking, asking, knocking that He might meet our needs. But if this is the crux of our pursuit it is not God we are pursuing. He WILL grant us the desires of our hearts… as we reverence (honor, fear, respect) Him. Note, even that puts focus on Him in terms of our affections. To worship merely to “get X, Y or Z” for ourselves is something less than what I’m talking about here.

Genuine worship is not about feelings, grocery lists, not even “deeper life” experiences with God those all those come (and go) or do not come as the case may be for you or myself.

As we grow spiritually, acts of worship bring us a communion with God the Holy Spirit to the extent our thoughts move from provision to vision -that is, we seek and recognize more Who Father, Son, Spirit truly are -and HIS glory becomes a natural part of our focus.

Things to consider. As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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