“…That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father…” Philippians 2:10-11
God and the word “glory” go hand-in-hand. But what does glory look like? It’s hard to imagine the glory of God based on what we read in the Bible. The most vivid words paint but a pale picture. We might imagine standing on a cloud with hands raised high to God…forever?
Today, glory is probably best seen and understood in the world of sports, where we see the most individual of all of our accomplishments. A singing performer may have a band, producers, and songwriters. A CEO has product developers and marketers and factory workers. But a sports performance, even on a team, often includes incredible individual achievements where body, mind, effort, and talent all come together for a perfect catch, an amazing shot, or the fastest time across the finish line. So unbelievable at times are these feats that we watch the instant replay over and over again. Wow! Incredible. Amazing.
The Olympic Games have much glory. The nations enter the stadium to one of composer John Williams’ famous anthems, like Summon the Heroes. They dazzle us for a few weeks of competition, for which many have been training their entire lives. They show they are the very best in the world with physical and mental feats of strength, endurance, speed, skill, and talent. And at the end of each competition, the winner stands and receives—well, glory. An acknowledgement that they are the very best at what they do, at least, in that moment.
Human glory is such a washed-out reflection of God’s glory. Perhaps our capacity to glorify something we see is only really designed to help us understand, a little better, what it means to give glory to God. Not just to acknowledge Who He is, but to humbly come before Him with reverence, awe, wonder and excitement…to know that He is our hero, in the greatest sense, because He made it possible for our relationship with Him to be restored. And that restoration comes with the most amazing of events - Jesus Himself on the cross, in the grave, and alive again. Unbelievable. Wow! Incredible. Amazing. Every facet of God’s character displayed in one glorious act of love, justice, grace, wrath and mercy. May it never get old.
The Bible reminds us that one day we will all give God glory. Some from our home in heaven, and others as they finally must acknowledge a Truth they refused to acknowledge in life, and must pay an eternal price for. When we glorify God in heaven, it won’t be boring, or repetitive. It will be an amazing experience of revelation and response that will be glorious for all time.
God, Just as Your creation glorifies You, may You be glorified through my life. May my obedience, humility and respect before You, my desire to know You more, bring you glory, now, and throughout eternity with You in heaven. In Jesus’ name, amen.