Friday, December 23, 2011

Glory to God in the Highest





Scripture

“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
(John 17:4 NASB)
“Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
(John 17:5 NASB)

Observation

The two-part phrase of the heavenly host was "Glory to God" and "Peace on earth." The night that Jesus is going to be betrayed He is in the garden praying. Here, near the very end of His time on earth again we hear words spoken about the glory of God. Jesus' mission was to bring glory to God and peace on earth. Jesus and His Father were having a conversation and Jesus was thinking back and evaluating His mission. Yes, He had glorified the Father because He had been obedient to the tasks which His Father had sent Him to accomplish. God, the Father had been glorified in Jesus' very life. But now Jesus, knowing that the end was coming began to have this conversation about the intermingling of the hearts of God the Father and His precious Son. Jesus had been glorified as God before He came to the earth. He had given up the glory of the Father to be on the mission -- to save humanity! The project was almost completed and Jesus was again imagining what it would be like to be united with the Father -- and the glory which would surround them both. The glory -- the absolute binding presence of the Holy Spirit that goes to the very depths of all.

Application

It's that special time of the year -- it's Christmas! It's a time when the heavenly host declared that there should be "Glory to God" in the highest. Jesus, after His mission here on the earth, reunited with the Father and the glory shone through Him. A number of months ago I had the privilege of visiting with Dr. Dennis Kinlaw in his home in Kentucky. A few of us had gathered to spend some time in study and prayer with him. It was an amazing few hours as we sat around his kitchen table, as he shared with us what God had been speaking to him. He spoke of the mysteries of the holy Trinity. How the Father loves the Son who loves the Holy Spirit and how they are bound up in one another. In the conference room of their new building at the Francis Asbury Society there is a beautiful table with three branches, depicting the Holy Trinity. In the very center there is an unusually shaped piece which represents the overlap of the three. Dr. Kinlaw said that's where the humanity of Christ is located, in the very center of the holy Trinity, always bowing down in worship to God. That little piece also represents a very optimistic future for all of us, for this is where we are invited to participate in God. Jesus, He came and fulfilled His mission and then He made a path for us to be able to be united with and participate in God. Our place is to be with God, ever bowed down in worship and praise of Him -- giving God the glory.

Glory to God in the highest! Yes, it was announced that night and Jesus came to prepare the way. The message continues to this day as we continue to be invited into the very heart of God and give Him glory. That's the greatest Christmas gift ever!

Prayer

Lord, thank You for the gift that just keeps on giving. May I live in that very special sacred place -- in Your presence and ever bowed down in worship and praise of You! Amen.

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