Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What Is God's Glory?

Inspired by Mark Wills' collaborative/contemplative post and his recommendation of the book Now You See It, I've been thinking a lot about "collaboration based on difference" and the reality of "attention blindness." As a consequence I'd like to try an experiment and ask a question to the Living Stones Community.

The question is simply, what is God's glory?

There a subtext in the way my heritage has spoken of God's glory that has left me feeling that God is vain and needs to be glorified. I'm sure this wasn't the intention, but it has had the effect on me that I've essentially ignored the idea of God's glory. I don't think it's because I want glory, though I do crave affirmation. It's just not a meaningful reality for me, even as I realize that I'm missing out on an important part of knowing God.

I can relate to the idea that nature and sacrificial love reveal God's glory and inspire gratitude, but what does it mean to give God glory? I've recently heard what was described as a more Jewish understanding of God's glory as something that has weight. Which I extrapolated to mean substance and radiance, something one could feel, like the warmth of the sun. This is helpful, but still inadequate. What say you brothers and sisters of The Way?

David Norling

7 comments:

Rehoboth said...

That is a good question, David. I think part of it may be the work that God does in us. God made us, and redeemed us. We are God's pride and joy. He is glorified in us as he changes us from glory to glory. We reflect his glory in those changes.

It will be interesting to hear from others, too.

RC said...

Good reflection and good question, David. Thank you. I want to respond personally, subjectively. For me, I know God's glory when I experience his love, beauty, and grace. And his incredible generosity. For me, God's glory is an expression of his humility and generosity. I am amazed and awed. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and am able to experience love, beauty, and grace in me and around me. And all this is gift, I think.
--Thank you again for asking about this, Rickey

David Norling said...

I'm still curious about what it means to give God glory, the phrase that is so common that I can no longer comprehend its meaning. I hear in what both of you are saying that it means being aware of and responding to God's lovingkindness.

I think I want awe and wonder to be a much larger part of my experience of God and creation, but find that a safe life of routine in suburbia is not conducive of such experiences

Paul T. Corrigan said...

I think that "giving God Glory" would be in large part about recognizing and developing one's awareness of what is always already there. And, as an act of worship, I think it is something that pulls us out of ourselves. So "glory" is both about our own inner spiritual development and about the Otherness of God and all that God has made that is not us.

Some quotes from an essay by Luci Shaw seem relevant to the suburbia situation you mention, to the degree that glory, awe, and beauty are related: "I have vowed never to cut myself off from beauty. Dallas Willard counsels us to cultivate the beautiful.' . . . Eugene Peterson theorizes that the vocation of the artist is to awaken our sensitivity to beauty."

(I can email a longer except from this essay, 2 pages, to anyone who is interested.)

David Norling said...

Thank you. Please do.

Mark Wills said...

Paul, if you don't mind, shoot me a copy of that too. I think I'm close to what you are pointing towards in regard to David's question.

Anna Cotton said...

David, It seems to me God's glory is wrapped up in His truth, beauty and goodness. Paul is getting at it when he writes of awareness, Rickey is getting at it when he writes of experiencing God's love, and I would add something along the lines of giving God credit for it all. Thanks so much for sharing the question. Blessings, Anna

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