God Is Glorious

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech,
nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
Psalm 19:1-6
Last Wednesday, my husband James and I took our kids to Geisler Farms with the NorthPoint Youth. We watched in wonder as the waxing gibbous moon rose, full and round, large enough for us to make out lunar landscapes from where we stood planted 238,900 miles away. Across the horizon from the rising moon, the sun ran its course with joy, crossing the finish line in the west with a magnificent display of orange and gold. It was glorious, this choreographed dance of sun and moon, perfect in step and time.
 
We have felt this sense of awe before, in the roar and spray of waves crashing into a rocky coast, in the silent brilliance of a desert night under the Milky Way, or in vibrant autumn leaves tossed like confetti by the wind.
 
But all the glory of stars and sea and sky are lesser glories, and they exist only for a higher calling—to declare the matchless glory of God, to proclaim His handiwork. The beauty of creation points to our glorious Creator. ‘For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made’ (Romans 1:20).
 
The same is true of us, though we forget it. We marvel at the miracle of life; the breath-catching moments when a baby laughs for the first time, a bride dances with her groom, an athlete celebrates a hard-won victory, a skilled performer takes a bow, or two loved ones reunite. We live for these moments, glory in them, forgetting that these, too, are lesser glories. Even on our very best days, when we are our very best selves, our brightest, kindest, and most beautiful selves, we still fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
 
We are living in the Shadowlands, after all, as C.S. Lewis calls earth at the end of the Chronicles of Narnia. We are fallen people, exiles, inhabiting a foreign, fallen world. All the lesser glories of this earth should not consume our hearts but should instead point us to the greater glory, the incomparable glory, of our holy God.
 
‘These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited’ (C.S. Lewis, Weight of Glory).

If a sunset steals our breath and gives us pause, we shouldn’t fall on our faces to worship the sun. The sky is only doing what it was made to do—declare the glory of God.

We should do the same.

Questions for Reflection:
  1. Make a list of some of the lesser glories that capture your heart and mind. Consider their source, our glorious God, and give all thanks and honor and glory to Him.
  2. Read Ephesians 1:15-23 as a prayer for yourself and for those close to you, asking God to give you ‘the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him’ (Eph. 1:17b)
Rebecca Janni | Author

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