Category Archives: God’s Glory in His Created

Why We Celebrate Christmas*

After hearing the Christmas story over and over, year after year, we might be tempted to take it for granted.  Yet, if we think about it, God’s willingness to become one of us is the greatest act of humility and love in all of human history.  “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14

Here we have God, the Father, creator of all that exists; creator of the millions of galaxies and billions of stars whose distance is measured in light years; this God who created the atom and molecule whose size is measured in nanometers – that’s one billionth of a meter; this God who created the human being with a body, soul, spirit and mind, became one of his created in order to free each of us from our sins and the world from its bondage to sin – to reconcile us to him and to one another.

Father William Barry, in his book, A Friendship Like No Other, says, “God took humanity seriously enough to become one of us, and we do God no service if we downplay what God has done in becoming human.”

God in Jesus was a real human being, born of Mary in the humblest of circumstances, in a cave used as a stable with animals nearby.  He had to be toilet trained, learn a language, be raised by real parents, work out his vocation and discern the will of the Father just as we do.  His family was forced into exile to Egypt to escape the sword of Herod.  After assuming his public ministry, the leaders of his own religion handed him over to the Romans to die a horrible death.  God is no stranger to suffering, persecution and injustice.  God in Jesus knows what human life is like from the inside.  His desire for friendship and to dwell with us and in us knows no bounds.

A cobbler does not become a shoe; a cabinet maker does not become a cabinet; but God the Father, creator of all that exists, became one of us.  Little wonder that history’s calendar is measured in terms of before and after this event.

Let us celebrate the birth of Jesus for what it is – the greatest act of humility and love in all of history! 

* Reposted from Christmas, 2014

What Are You Doing with God’s Glory?

Whether we recognize it or not, we all have the glory of God in us. We are gloriously made in the image of God. Our human body, with all of its parts and a mind that combines instinct and rationality, is still not fully comprehended by medical science. We are made up of millions of cells that work in unity to give us eyes to see, ears to hear, a mind to understand, along with coronary, respiratory and digestive systems to sustain us.

We are the top of the pyramid of God’s creation. The psalmist says, “you knit me together in my mother’s womb…I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:13-14) Genesis tells us that we are made “to work and take care” of the garden of creation. (Gen. 2:15) The glory of our being combines with the glory of our mission.

Yet the psalmist also reminds us, “How long O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?” (Psalm 4:2) St. Paul chastised the people of his day for exchanging the glory of God for images of mortal man and for exchanging the truth of God for a lie in how they lived. (Rom. 1:23, 25)

Do we recognize the glory of our being? Do we see the glory of working and taking care of the people and circumstances God has entrusted to us?

There have been times in my life when I have forgotten who I was and the important work God had given me. Early in my career I sought the false gods of recognition and position without regard to what God’s will was for me and my family. I didn’t recognize God’s glory in me as one of his created and I wasn’t asking him for guidance in what he wanted for me and the family he had given me.

By the grace of God, the example of my wife and the power of the Holy Spirit, God opened my eyes to see that I was wonderfully made in his image to work and take care of a piece of his creation that was all a part of something larger than myself.

It is part of God’s plan, also called natural law, that most of us become co-creators with him in bringing new life into this world, nurturing that life in the context of a family with a mother and a father, and teaching and demonstrating the truth of God’s word to the next generation.

We are also called to work and take care of our thread in the larger fabric of creation, whatever it may be, so that both civilization and God’s kingdom are moved forward on earth as it is in heaven.

Are we seeing God’s glory in our life and work? Remember, we are precious in the eyes of the Lord!