Tag Archives: glory

Shining Brightly 3

We associate glory with something having gone well.  A triumphant occasion, something worthy of praise and adoration – something to be proud of.  For example the “glory of the cup”, or the “glory days”.

What we see here is true glory.  More in keeping with the “Glory of the Lord shone around” of the Angels appearing to the Shepherds at Jesus’ birth in Luke 2.

Luke 9:28-36

The True Glory of Jesus

28 About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up on a mountain to pray. 29 While he was praying, his face changed, and his clothes became shining white. 30 Suddenly Moses and Elijah were there speaking with him. 31 They appeared in heavenly glory and talked about all that Jesus’ death in Jerusalem would mean.

32 Peter and the other two disciples had been sound asleep. All at once they woke up and saw how glorious Jesus was. They also saw the two men who were with him.

33 Moses and Elijah were about to leave, when Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But Peter did not know what he was talking about.

34 While Peter was still speaking, a shadow from a cloud passed over them, and they were frightened as the cloud covered them. 35 From the cloud a voice spoke, “This is my chosen Son. Listen to what he says!”

36 After the voice had spoken, Peter, John, and James saw only Jesus. For some time they kept quiet and did not say anything about what they had seen.

It’s all about the glory.  Not glory for Jesus, Moses or Elijah, and certainly not for Peter, John and James.

Glory is the

manifestation of God’s presence

It’s about the glory of God shining through, breaking through.  The glory of God, here shining in and through the life of Jesus.  Bringing Heaven’s glory to earth as he lived and was God.

And Peter, James and John so nearly missed it.

This weeks reading seem to raise questions for me.  So, I’ll carry on!:

Are we missing God’s glory, his presence shining?  Either because we’re looking in the wrong place, focussing on the wrong thing (like building shelters instead of just taking it in), or because we’re sound asleep?

For with the glory, comes God’s confirmation again,

“This is my chosen Son. Listen to what he says!”

Just in case you missed it at his baptism, just in case you were still wondering – yes, this is my son.  He is my presence in the world.  Pay attention to him if you want to know what I think.

Quite wisely, the three disciples spend some time in quiet, thinking about what they’ve seen before they start talking.  That is never a bad plan as we encounter God in all his glory – to be quiet, be still, let his presence soak in.  To take time, for the pressures of tomorrow will soon rush in (v37-43)


how sometimes I need

to just sit

and let it all sink in.

Not to rush off,

not to say the first thing that comes into my head,

not to have to “do” anything,

but just be

in your presence,

in your glory.

To hear

and be quiet.

Glory Hunting

Nothing is being implied about any individual club, it’s just illustrative – honest!

There are those who follow big famous football clubs, because they are just that.  People who have no local affiliation or ties.  They follow them just because they are, apparently, the best and look likely to remain so.  To some degree, I can see the point in that.  If you want to see the sport at its highest level then clearly they are the ones to watch.  But does that miss the point of sport?  The other side is that there are plenty who have become interested in some minority sports over the Olympics, just because Team GB was doing well in them, and it will have opened their eyes to possibilities.

But there is also the kind of glory hunting that is seeking the glory and the limelight all for ourselves, always looking for praise.

Jesus was wary of the praise of humans, he was more interested in doing what God thought was good and praiseworthy:

41 ‘I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

45 ‘But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?’

What about us?  Are we looking for accolades from those around us?  Do we need constant pats on the back?  Do we want to be told how good we are? Are we looking in the wrong places for praise?  Or are we seeking only that we please God?

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with praising one another for a good job well done – but that should not be our motive.

May the glory we hunt, be God’s and his alone

What do you Say?

Beautiful, awesome skies, make the world seem so vast, so full of might and wonder.

Psalm 19

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

The Wonders of God and the Goodness of His Law

1The heavens keep telling

the wonders of God,

and the skies declare

what he has done.

2Each day informs

the following day;

each night announces

to the next.

3They don’t speak a word,

and there is never

the sound of a voice.

4Yet their message reaches

all the earth,

and it travels

around the world.

In the heavens a tent

is set up for the sun.

5It rises like a bridegroom

and gets ready like a hero

eager to run a race.

6It travels all the way

across the sky.

Nothing hides from its heat.

7The Law of the LORD is perfect;

it gives us new life.

His teachings last forever,

and they give wisdom

to ordinary people.

8The LORD’s instruction is right;

it makes our hearts glad.

His commands shine brightly,

and they give us light.

9Worshiping the LORD is sacred;

he will always be worshipped.

All of his decisions

are correct and fair.

10They are worth more

than the finest gold

and are sweeter than honey

from a honeycomb.

11By your teachings, Lord,

I am warned;

by obeying them,

I am greatly rewarded.

12None of us know our faults.

Forgive me when I sin

without knowing it.

13Don’t let me do wrong

on purpose, Lord,

or let sin have control

over my life.

Then I will be innocent,

and not guilty

of some terrible fault.

14Let my words and my thoughts

be pleasing to you, LORD,

because you are my mighty rock and my protector.

What a wonderful Psalm of praise to God’s might and majesty.

Just two thoughts:

The Psalm begins with the well-known phrase

The skies declare the wonders of God

There is indeed something about the sky, it lifts our eyes “to the heavens”.  But if the skies declare God’s glory, do we?  Do we reflect his majesty, his awe?  Do people look at our lives and declare the wonders of God – for that is what should happen.

Tom Wright points us to verse 13, and the question of whether God’s loving provision has penetrated every corner of our personality (p 65).  Are there flaws that need to be dealt with?

This leads us to the other much used phrase from this Psalm

May my words and my thoughts be pleasing to you

– the words prayed at the beginning of many a sermon.  Do we pray them at other times in our lives?  Aren’t our whole lives a sermon?  Not just those that are preachers, but each one of us in the way we live, speak and love?  Are my words and my thoughts pleasing to God?


each day

may my life declare your glory,

and my words and thoughts be pleasing to you

This year, I am again following the Big Read using Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone – Mark.  I’ll reflect here – if you’re following it too, or even if you’re not, please share with me.