Reading the narratives again about the Birth of Christ, a phrase gripped my mind and imagination in a way it had not done before. Here’s what I was reading. . .
“And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and
keeping watch by night over their flock. And an angel of the Lord stood
by them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for, behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people:
for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, which
is Christ the Lord. And this is the sign unto you; ye shall find a babe
in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2)
So, I began to think about that phrase. . . “The GLORY of the Lord.” And in times of solitude as our celebration of Christmas approaches, I’ve thought about it further length:
What IS the Glory of the Lord?
My view of Scripture is that in a wonderfully unique sense it is the written Word of God. That is a faith presupposition (we all have them) and the point of departure as I approach the study of Scripture. Because of that view, I have a feeling we take it much too lightly (even those who thump it vigorously and say they believe every jot and tittle from Generation to Revolution~in the KJV!). It deserves reverent respect and thought, and I dare not skim superficially over the surface hardly ever pausing to weigh words and ideas and discover treasure that will yield to prayerful thought and careful study.
What, then, is the “Glory” of the Lord?
In pursuit of an answer I consulted a dictionary, a thesaurus, a concordance, a Bible dictionary, Wikipedia (a pretty handy online encyclopedia), a couple of sermons on the subject and a couple of commentaries. I also conferred with the gentleman whose face I see in the mirror each time I decide to shave. He and I don’t even try to blow smoke at each other these days! And I wondered and pondered. I tried to think of synonymns (other words with similar meaning) and antonymns (words with the opposite meaning. Sometimes I can get a better understanding of an idea if I can decide what it is NOT.).
There’s a lot of information out there; much of it what I call “antics with semantics.” I found out that “glory” can be used as a noun (like what ‘shone around the shepherds’ that night in the passage which triggered my thinking.), or a verb (like the way Paul used it when he said he would not ‘glory’ in anything other than the cross of Christ.). I’ve also heard it used as an interjection. If you ever spent any time around Baptists, you’ve probably heard folks say that instead of “amen,” or “hallelujah,” or “praise the Lord.” They’d simply verbalize their nearly delirious joy by shouting “GLORY!” The Marines at Camp Lejeune near here often say: “Hoooaaahh!” I’m not sure I always understand what they mean by that, but they do. It’s an expression.
If you’re not accustomed to such, it can startle your socks off off!
The shepherds weren’t expecting such an appearance or spectacular display. It dawned upon them and turned darkness to light. It scared them. The entire event frightened them, but this and subsequent happenings turned their world right side up. They were rocked back on their heels at first, but then they took time to investigate for themselves. Luke says when they left the manger later that night they were joyous and told everyone what they’d seen and heard. That sounds like a pretty logical progression. What they experienced was meant to be shared.
The Glory of the Lord. Christmas. Is there any connection? Has Christmas lost its luster? Do we ever even think beyond the superficial to consider to the Profound?
The GLORY of the Lord. May it shine upon you during this time when we think of Someone whom we should never forget.
What do YOU think the “GLORY of the Lord” is?
God’s son and servant, your friend, brother, and fellow student ><> donkimrey