“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory…” ~Matthew 25.31, KJV
What a word.
Glory—a word that comes with so much theological baggage.
In a season where we have pastors eisegeting scripture rather than exegeting them, doing their best to usher in “God's glory,” I discover the glory of God in the ordinariness of a messy desk. While pastors preach about peace in some far off place beyond the moon, and outside of space, scripture speaks of Jesus announcing God’s reign is coming soon, even now.
When I get frustrated by folks in my profession who don’t speak for me but get all the limelight, I remember how God’s glory arrived in the world: in an unexpected place, at an unexpected time, to an unexpected peasant girl who clenched her fist and sung about the victory of God.
That’s the glory of God, y’all. The church exists to sign, to signal, to sing about that tension whereby those who are at the bottom are being lifted up, and those who are on top are brought down.
Glory, as found in the gospels, is…
Jesus feeding the hungry multitudes as a gift of God’s overflowing compassion rather than as an act of economic enslavement!
Jesus performing miracles not as means of harnessing divine powers for himself, but as a sign of God’s in breaking strength in the world!
Jesus exercising power for good, but not by the means and methods of the world’s kingdoms!
Advent is that time we prepare for the arrival of God’s glory in unexpected places—in the ordinariness of life.
And what’s glorious about this is how Jesus made available God’s kingdom, power, and glory to ordinary folks like you and me to participate in the same kingdom, power, and glory.
Which makes me think of the prayer we pray daily—the Lord’s Prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer says that this kingdom, this power and this glory reconceived in life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, is now and forever.
The kingdom for which we pray is not pie in the sky by and by, and can only come when we name Jerusalem as a capital. But instead, the kingdom, the reign of God, is now—we must not wait because we need not wait to be friends with God because God has already chosen us.
In Christ, the kingdom of God has been brought near to us; usually made known now to us only in glimpses.
Like in a painting of child who found your church to be … fun…
Or written in a card by a group of people who wanted to tell you “that you are loved by many”….
Or in the wrappings and ribbons from a gift by a beloved friend who reminds you often of your belovedness …
Or in a space that smells like smoke but feels like home …
And that’s the thing, friends. The real glory of God occurs when the hungry get food, the children get gifts, and the women receive justice.
God’s glory came in the innocence of a child…in such a mundane way.
Like this messy desk of mine from today.
What a word. What a day.