“A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”” (Isaiah 40:3–5)
The glory of the Lord will be revealed.
Revealed? What kind of glory (Hebrew Kavod: honor, weightiness, splendor) is this?
- Jesus born into poverty: this reveals glory?
- Jesus lying in a manger, his mother 15 years old: this reveals glory?
- Jesus running from the King, an exile in Egypt: this reveals glory?
- Jesus growing up in poverty, his parents give the sacrifice of the poor: this reveals glory?
- Jesus in conflict with the religious leaders: this reveals glory?
- Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners: this reveals glory?
- Jesus not having a job and relying on women to fund his ministry: this reveals glory?
- Jesus whose disciples don’t understand his teaching or his mission: this reveals glory?
- Jesus who is loved by the common folk, but rejected by the rich and powerful: this reveals glory?
- Jesus, who is whipped and beaten: this reveals glory?
- Jesus who dies on the cross: this reveals glory?
- Jesus, who is the lion of Judah but shows himself as the Lamb who was slain: this reveals glory?
Father, our picture of glory is so distant from yours. For us, glory is power and might and making sure we get our place and our due. For your son, it is emptying himself and becoming a servant. It leaves us wondering a lot about who you are if this is how you reveal your glory. It leaves us wondering a lot more about how we are supposed to be in this world if this is how you reveal your glory.
And yet all of this,
- all of this emptying
- living in poverty
- working with people who didn’t understand you
- being beaten and hung on a cross like a lamb on a darkened Friday afternoon
reveals your glory.
“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.
And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”” (Revelation 5:6–12)
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.