What is glory? Likely, our immediate thoughts go to victory basking among roars of approval or stardom coddled amid fawning adoration. Glory is also an attribute that elicits praise, such as the vastness of the heavens or the grandeur of the canyon. In animated beings it is often the outward manifestation of internal character or ability—the brilliance of Einstein, the oratory of King, the compassion of Teresa, or the strength of Secretariat. But how do we even begin to imagine the splendor of Him who is infinitely perfect in every way—the One who formed the universe and painted its earth, who conceived what science can merely explore, whose justness burns deep within every soul, whose feelings of love burst forth into acts of love, the God of unbridled power? All of these proclaim His glory, for “God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”1
Though majestic, the glory we behold in nature merely points to God who is glory by nature. So, we peer beyond created things to Him who conceived them and to Christ Jesus through whom they are made, for “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”2 Writes Paul, “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”3 and “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”4
It is all the more to His glory, then, that Jesus “made himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”5 Writes John, “[Jesus] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”6 And I think “behold” is where we begin to understand God’s plan for us—his glory in us. For, “we all, … beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”7 What could be more glorious, but Him who makes this so? We begin with behold.
Father, your glory far exceeds our understanding. Send us your Spirit to quiet our souls, that we may behold you even as He transforms us into the image of Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.
1 Romans 1:20
2 Hebrews 1:3
3 Colossians 2:9
4 Colossians 1:15-17
5 Philippians 2:7
6 John 1:14 NKJV
7 2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV