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By: Rachelle Hamlin
Fort Fairfield Journal, June 6, 2018
Glory? Exactly what do we mean when we Christians so frequently use the words glory and glorified? About six months ago I started hearing this word stand out in songs, sermons and in reading the Bible. It became clear to me that I heard these words and didn’t know what the heck they meant! Did glory mean shiny? I don’t think so. Did it mean famous? How could it? Did it mean to stand out in a crowd? What’s good about that? Did it mean some kind of temporary recognition, like a diploma or certificate? Impossible.
One day during my quiet time I grabbed my French Bible. Reading happily along I came to the word Gloire and I still couldn’t figure out what it meant. Very frustrated, I decided to see if they had a word dictionary in the back and they did. My answer stared back to me from the page. The meaning of glory is true value
For the following six months I tested out this idea. Every time I heard or read glory or glorified, I substituted “true value.” It worked each time. Jesus was glorified by his Father. This means that the Father made a demonstration of the true value of His Son, Jesus. That is a plain truth.
Where the word says that we will be presented to the Father in glory, this means that our true value will become apparent when Jesus has completed his work of sanctifying us. Notice: this is not temporary. It is something that once achieved endures forever. Not only was Jesus glorified, but we also hope that, as we submit to the nurturing of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God, we too can be permanently glorified (shown to be of true value.)
We Americans have our heroes who have been shown to be men and women of true value. We think of them as examples of American values. Consider Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King, bold astronauts, courageous warriors and September 11th first responders. But here we need to take a closer look at the American psyche. Not all supposed heroes are people of true value; a single moment of passing glory does not a hero make.
Perhaps you, my reader, possess more true value than some of the paper and ink heroes that you read about or see interviewed on TV. I am impressed with how much ordinary glory there is around us, co-existing with us all through the severe and difficult times we have lived in.
Think about the man who takes care of the landscaping in the gated senior community that I live in. He took the business over from his father when that man retired. He is faithful in his work, excellent in his methods, low in his pricing, modest in his remarks, honest and kind in his dealings with others. The way we think, we would never say he is glorious, yet he personifies true value. Now his is an example of ordinary glory. It is glory so deeply entrenched in a person as to become completely invisible to the mind’s eye.
People like him are everywhere. Taken for granted and unseen they are the glory of America. The mother that has made a thousand meals a year for thirty years or more… that is glorious. The child that never shows disrespect to others… that is glorious. The family that prays together every day, the pastor who follows his calling to his last day, the editor or teacher that arrives daily to plug away at the tedious work of educating other people, the unnoticed workers cleaning, building, planting, hauling, healing… that is ordinary glory on a major scale! It is true value so mammoth that it has become as invisible as the blue, white and grey of our ordinary skies.
Matthew Ch. 25 -
“Then King Jesus will say to the blessed, come receive your inheritance. I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, thirsty and you gave drink. I was a stranger and you took me in, you clothed me. I was sick and you cared for me. You visited me in prison.” “When did we do these things to you?” they will ask.” When you did it to the least of these, my brothers.”
Such is the value of ordinary glory.
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