“… the glory of the Lord shone around them…” -Luke 2:9
What is glory? Luke says when the angels appeared to the shepherds, glory shone around them. If something shines, there must be light involved. I always imagined that the angels must have been very bright…though in a dark field in the middle of the night, it wouldn’t take very much light for them to shine out.
What is glory? Theologian Warren Wiersbe says that the glory of God is the sum total of all that God is and does.
Mary, in her rejoicing that Diane read, dreams of glory for her newborn son, glory that will set the world right.
We have high hopes when we’re young that we’ll be destined for glory. Like those three trees. They dreamed of doing big things.
What sort of glory do you dream of?
Some of the most glorious moments in my life have been when someone has done something loving and generous and unexpected for me, like God did for all of us in giving us Jesus, God in the flesh, God with us, Emmanuel.
It wasn’t the glory of political or military victory, it was the glory of justice and love. The glory of Jesus giving his life so that we could be forgiven and made right with God.
Love does not seek glory, but love is glorious. As the old song goes, love is something if you give it away. Bishop John Shelby Spong says that we worship God by loving one another, and he describes God’s love like a sink in the basement that you plug up and leave running so that it fills up and overflows, running into all the cracks and crevices, never asking whether they deserve to be filled up. Spong calls this “loving wastefully.”
I call it loving unconditionally, the way that God loves us.
God is the source of all the love that we have to share. We love because God loves us. Through the gift of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, God fills our hearts with love.
May the glory of God’s love fill our hearts and lives tonight and always.