Summary: Manifesting the glory of God
Lk. 3:15-22 Theme: All mankind shall see the glory of the Lord
Text: Is. 40:1-5, 9-11; Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7; Lk. 3:15-16, 21-22
Read Isaiah 40:5 “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
One important lesson we learn either in the classroom or by experience to be successful is to pay attention to what is urgent and important. Many people, however, are so busy doing what is not important that they often forget to do what is important. Even when they do know what is important they are not prepared to spend the necessary time on it because they have come to believe that they can have almost everything instantly. Some people have even described the time we live in as the age of the instant - instant coffee, instant milo, instant lotto millionaires, and even instant spirituality and instant Christian growth. Although I believe in a God who can do everything in an instant, I also know that it takes time for a person to grow. A child does not become an adult in an instant. He or she goes through a process of growth and preparation. It takes time for a fruit to grow and we cannot plant an orange seed and expect to have oranges in an instant. So in virtually every aspect of life there is a time for preparation and growth. No wise person will enter marriage without preparation – without spending a great deal of time getting to know his or her partner. Neither would an athlete enter to take part in the Olympic games without preparation - without spending many hours in training. Preparation in the spiritual realm is just as important as preparation in the physical realm, if not even more important. It is only through spiritual preparation and spiritual growth that obstacles that separate us from God can be removed to allow Him deal with the many problems we face in life – problems such as homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, broken lives, fears, family conflict and insecurity. It is often during these times of spiritual intimacy with God that He speaks to bring light and freedom, understanding and healing, to those who are miserable and are suffering, to those who have given up hope and to those who are looking for a meaning and purpose in life. It is God’s desire that all mankind shall see the glory of the Lord.
The glory of the Lord has been revealed to all men and the Apostle John says that in Jesus Christ we beheld His glory. However, for now His glory is veiled and only those who sincerely seek the Lord see His glory. A blind man will not see the light no matter how bright the light is, but at Christ’s return even they shall see the glory of the Lord. God presently reveals His glory to those He knows will act upon His Word, those He trusts. If we do not trust somebody in life, we will not reveal our secrets to that person or ask him or her to do something important for us. Why should we expect it to be different with God?
Can God trust us with something as important as His glory? You can only trust someone you have a relationship with and this is the reason why God desires a relationship with us. You cannot have a relationship with another person unless you know each other. We must relate to one another to have a relationship. A marriage is an intimate relationship and in this relationship one partner often knows what the other partner has in mind without him or her saying anything. A magnet has the ability to attract other metals and a metal near a magnet will also acquire this ability. A metal, which is not a magnet, cannot attract another metal but this same metal near a magnet is able to attract another metal and this other metal can also attract another metal. Just as a metal near a magnet acts like a magnet so our intimacy with God should make us reflect His glory. This intimate relationship should determine our thoughts, attitudes and behaviour. When we come to worship together as we are doing this morning is it to glorify God by deepening our relationship with Him and with each other or is it for another reason? Do we expect God to move in our midst and communicate with us? As individuals and as a church, we need to discern the direction God is calling us to go, and follow His directions, so that we do not go astray.
Whenever we are confronted with the glory, majesty, and holiness of God we see ourselves as we really are and are inevitably led to repentance. Repentance simply means to turn around, so that instead of walking in our own way, we begin to walk in God’s way. Walking in God’s way leads us to God’s presence. It leads us to worship Him, to spend time with Him in prayer and in Bible study, to take part in the sacraments and to love with His love forgiving one another.