“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And, lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them and the GLORY OF THE LORD shone round about them. And they were sore afraid. And the Angel said unto them: “Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. . . “ (Luke 2:8-11).
In considering the concept of “glory,” for some reason I thought of Albert Einstein’s early efforts in theoretical physics while he was a lowly clerk in a fairly remote Swiss patent office. Fresh out of graduate school, he could not get a job in his native Germany. I read somewhere that early in his academic career a professor had advised him to pick any career he wished: No matter what he chose he’d fail at anything he selected. With a young wife and a baby to support, unable to find work, young Albert was desperate. Being a Jew in Germany was not exactly in his favor, and with an attitude some of the professors considered cocky, his options were very limited in Germany.
So, he wound up in a remote outpost almost at the edge of nowhere, on the lowest end of the totem pole salary wise, trying to chisel a living out of what even then was a granite – like Swiss economy as far as foreigners were concerned. But he was ambitious, confident, brilliant, and had some ideas in a massive mind, and an unquenchable imagination and incredible curiosity and patience. He had time on his hands in the slow-paced office, so he pondered and wondered and simply unlocked some of the great mysteries of the Universe.
Understand this: He did not invent anything. He did not create anything. Just by studying an thinking, his general theory of relativity rocked the scientific world and has led to unimagined developments in almost every area of modern technology; and the end of the impact has not even yet been approached. He had never seen an atom (nor, for that matter, has anyone else.). He didn’t know what he was searching for, but as he explored and imagined, he gathered information, took time to think, and discovered things no one before had seen and most of us can’t even imagine.
My point is simply this: Einstein did not invent or create anything. He took time to think, and study, and his theory E=mc2 is a secret of the universe which had been there all the time and he took time to uncover it.
Trust me. I’m a long, long way from being an Einstein even after having read two of his biographies. There are so many wonders and mysteries we’ve not yet explored. Vast areas where there is no evidence of a human footstep or imprint. Outer space and the ocean depths are only two such areas. In my opinion, the “Glory of the Lord” may be one of those ideas worthy of further consideration. I realize it isn’t a concept which can be reduced to a mathematical equation or a chemical formula contained in a test tube. It does strike me, though, as being worth more than a passing glance.
My personal view of Scripture is that God doesn’t waste words or ideas. If He says something, it is noteworthy. It is, therefore, worth taking time to try to understand if we can.
So: Here I am still pondering the question: “What is the Glory of the Lord.”
I feel very certain it is more than the sights (beautiful, colorful, twinkling lights, snow scenes, etc,) scents (of cedar/pine, cinnamon, etc.), sounds (Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Away in a manger, etc.), tastes (gingerbread, fruitcake, peppermint candy canes, etc.) and the treasure chest full of frosted, multi-colored memories of your yester years.
A prayer of mine is that I will somehow be able to get beyond the trappings and wrappings, tinsel and distractions and discover the “Glory of the Lord” and understand the meaning of the Message the Angel announced. And that I’ll be able to experience fresh and fist hand something of the joy and wonder of that night when a feed trough in Bethlehem cradled the King of Kings.
That, also, is my prayer for you and those whom you love.
God’s son and servant, your friend and fellow student ~donkimrey