United Church of Christ

Glory, Given

Hear and give ear; do not be haughty,
or the LORD has spoken.
Give glory to the LORD your God
before she brings darkness. - Jeremiah 13:15-16

My son and I were hanging the mirror ball for our New Year's Eve party. We messed around with the spotlight, shining it on a dark fluffy blanket and watching the light disappear, then pointing it at the ball and watching the light blossom around the room. He asked me where the light was when the spotlight wasn't on; was it stored inside somehow?

It is a peculiarity of light that it stops being itself if it stops moving. Unlike most things, light literally becomes something else if it's not radiating. Light isn't any use (to a human, anyway) unless it's bouncing off something and hitting you in the eye. Next time the power goes out, try just carrying an unlit flashlight around the house and see how much good it does you. Or shine a spotlight straight up into the night sky, or into a black fluffy blanket, and see how useful that is.

Glory's like this, too. Probably that's why in paintings it's always depicted as light: halos, beams, nimbuses. Unascribed glory isn't glory; it isn't anything. Glory just isn't itself unless it's traveling, unless you're giving it away. Keep it to yourself, and it is nothing, does nothing, cannot signify. Shine it at an unworthy target, and it just dies.

Focus it, however, shine it on the right thing, and it can light your path all the way home. Give it to God, and the whole world will blossom with beauty.

Prayer

Glory to the Creator, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost!  As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end!  Amen, amen.

ddcaldwell_2014.pngAbout the Author
Quinn G. Caldwell is a father, husband, homesteader and preacher living in rural upstate New York. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.

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