This is the second week of our series we are calling, “I come to do your will.” We read these words on the lips of Jesus many times in the gospel passages, it is in the psalms and we see them in the letter to the Hebrews in our fourth week. Jesus says he did not come on his own but he came to do the will of his Father. What an example we receive from Jesus, doing the will of the one who sent him. We want to look at the coming of Jesus, and prepare for a season of anticipation and waiting. Looking at the readings over the next weeks leading up to the great Christmas celebration we see the purpose of Jesus coming.
In this first week we looked at the promise. God made a promise to the house of Israel and we read that the days are coming when God will fulfill his promise. God promises through covenant, and God keeps his promise even when the covenant has not been fulfilled by those to whom God has made promises. It is the power of God’s promise that brings justice and righteousness, strength and the teaching of a new life, a life where we stand tall in front of God, the Holy One. So the first week we looked at promise and how God always fulfills his promise.
This week we look at glory. We see that glory is coming. Glory is probably one of the most pervasive words in the bible, we see it so many places. Glory is the reason God created each one of us, for his glory. What does it mean? God wants us to live so that when people see us, they will say I want to know God. As we plan for the coming of Jesus, looking at it two ways; Jesus coming as a baby on Christmas day and Jesus coming a second time to let us see the full glory of God, we want to recognize that a huge result of Jesus coming is that we more fully know the glory of God. So this week we look at the coming of glory.Glory is probably one of the most pervasive words in the bible, we see it so many places. Glory is the reason God created each one of us, for his glory. Click To Tweet
The readings this week are from the Lectionary for the Second Sunday of Advent, derived from a Latin word, advent means coming. The readings are; Baruch 5:1-9; Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3,4-5, 6; Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11 and Luke 3:1-6. Each of these readings gives witness to coming, they anticipate the coming of a Messiah, first to save and second to judge. It gives us the double look, Christ has come and Christ will come again. In these reading s we see glory, it is described in human terms and we can see it in the divine. As we look at the coming of glory we have to remember we are doing this in the context of a larger theme of I come to do you will. Looking at glory, pointing to our Father as glory, we can only achieve God’s desire for our life if we are ready to do the will of God.
The first reading is from Baruch known as a secretary to the prophet Jeremiah. During the captivity by the Babylonians in 587 BC Jeremiah was left behind in Jerusalem and many including Baruch were taken to Babylon. In the verses we read a joyful message as those who were taken away from Jerusalem are getting ready to be set free and return home. It opens telling the people to take off their sorrowful garment and put on the beauty and glory of God. We see a description of a royal nature shown to the people by God who has prepared their way home. They will travel as if they are carried on a royal throne. God himself will lead them. After their exile God takes amazing care of his people. The people are restored and they will have a new name which God will call then forever, “Peace of righteousness and glory of godliness.” This is a promise of everlasting happiness. The New Jerusalem not only belongs to God but she will have peace of righteousness (forever right in the eyes of God) and glory of godliness (created in God’s image we share in his glory.) The glory of God manifests itself in us who are his people.
In the second reading from Philippians we read a prayer of thanksgiving; Paul is thankful for Jesus who began a good work in those of the church in Philippe. The work which will continue until Jesus coming. Paul prays for their love to increase, their perception to increase, true value to be recognized, that they may remain pure and be fill with righteousness that is shared by Jesus for the glory of God. When we live with these attributes God is glorified by us. God is gloried when we are righteous, pure, loving, essentially when we follow Jesus example, we become more like Jesus who shared in God’s glory, as we have the opportunity to share in as well. God freely shares his glory with his Son who is equal to him in all eternity. Jesus emanating this glory came to show us the way to live to glorify God. This coming is why we prepare and anticipate during this advent season.
In the gospel of Luke we return to preparing a way. Luke gives a very specific reckoning of the time through the naming of leaders, political and religious. Then he turns to John the Baptist, the messenger announcing the coming of the Messiah. John was proclaiming a Baptism of repentance, a turning form an old sinful way of life toward a new sinless life. Then Luke turns to the prophecy from Isaiah proclaiming a way should be prepared for the coming of the Lord. Much like we read in the first reading from Baruch the road is set is if a royal person is coming, a King or as we understand the King of Kings. John the Baptist is proclaiming that we be ready for the coming of the Christ, the Messiah. It is a moment in time when the chosen people had been waiting for and hoping to see. It is a moment in time we hope to see, Jesus coming to bring us home. As we are saying in this week’s theme, we will see the coming of glory. Jesus who shares glory with God will come and show us the way to share in the glory and to point toward the Father so we may glorify him through our lives.
God’s glory existed long before the creation of the world, and Jesus sharing in the glory was from the beginning of time. But now Jesus comes to share God’s glory so we to may share in it. We may also live so we glorify God. It is thanks to Jesus that we know so much about glorifying God. The first step in glorifying God is to do God’s will. The overall reason of Jesus mission is to do the will of the one who sent him. Doing God’s will points to God’s glory and shows all who know Jesus they know glory and are able to glorify the Father by doing his will.The overall reason of Jesus mission is to do the will of the one who sent him. Doing God’s will points to God’s glory and shows all who know Jesus they know glory and are able to glorify the Father by doing his will. Click To Tweet
God has always been infinite glory. We can describe God’s glory with many attributes, it is the essence of his being, his very nature. It is the external manifestation of his being. It appears, is revealed and can be seen. But it is more than what God is externally and so God’s glory existed and is apart from any manifestation of his glory. God is glory.
What may be the first time God appears in his glory can be seen in the time of Moses and Aaron with the people at Mount Sinai. “While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they turned in the direction of the wilderness, and there the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud!” (Exodus 16:10) When Isaiah is speaking about salvation we see, “Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:5). Speaking about the time in the desert we read on the lips of the Lord, “all the people who have seen my glory and the signs I did in Egypt and in the wilderness.” (Numbers 14:22)
We must remember when we were created we were created in the image of God. In Isaiah 43 we read a hymn form God that promises redemption and restoration. We can see that is a promise for Israel, but it is also God’s promise to us. Sin separated us from God, but God promises us redemption and restoration. We read in Isaiah God formed us, redeemed us, is with us, keeps us safe, is our savior, the one who loves us and we read this very beautiful line, “All who are called by my name I created for my glory; I formed them, made them.” (Isaiah 43:7) From the beginning God created us for his glory. We are therefore a manifestation of God’s glory, when we live doing God’s will, we glorify God.
God has always been glory and we have seen there are moments where God has revealed his glory during the old covenant. But it is the coming of his Son, the fulfillment of the new covenant, that we learn of the depth and breadth and imitation of God’s Glory. Jesus doing the will of the father reveals God’s glory an share in it. By sharing Jesus teaches us how to live to glorify God. It is not the case that God was not glory before Jesus coming.
The Gospel writer John includes a pray of Jesus that describes this glory of Father and Son;
“When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.“ (John 17:1-5)
Jesus truly is God and truly is infinite glory. He comes to do the will of the Father and by so doing glorifies God.Jesus truly is God and truly is infinite glory. He comes to do the will of the Father and by so doing glorifies God. Click To Tweet
It may seem elusive, but God wants us to live doing his will and sharing in his glory. If we follow the example of Jesus and follow the advice of the church, we too can glorify God. So all people will know who God is and know for themselves the glory of God. God has a zeal to be glorified but depends on us to achieve glory for him. We can display the image of God through glory or we can be unaffected by God and try to make glory for ourselves. If we try to glorify ourselves we will end up as nothing, manifesting nothing of God and leaving a legacy of selfishness. We must be ready to do the will of God to be ourselves and able to share in God’s glory.
The coming of Jesus is a big moment for the revelation of God’s glory. Jesus came to explain to us what glory is all about. Jesus came so we would know what God is really like. It is because God is glorious that he can forgive us so easily. Jesus came to say through God’s glory I am able to redeem and restore you. If we follow Jesus he will lead us away from sin and toward God’s glory.
In Jesus “Sermon on the Mount” we here that we are salt and light. We are to let our light shine so others may see, we are to light the whole house. Jesus concludes with, “your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16).Our good deeds, our love, our respect, all that we do reflects on the one who created us. When we do the will of the creator we glorify the Father.Our good deeds, our love, our respect, all that we do reflects on the one who created us. When we do the will of the creator we glorify the Father. Click To Tweet
I come to do you will
As we discussed in the opening, Jesus’ total life is a revelation of God’s glory. We can live an abundant life, a life where our love will increase, ever more and more in knowledge and perception, that we may discern our value, that we may be pure and blameless when Christ does come, that we may be filled with righteousness, all of which only comes from the grace of God. The days are coming when we must make a straight path. All the ups and downs of our lives will be met with glory. All the misdirection’s and windy roads will be met with glory. All of the rough ways will be made smooth so we may see the glory of God. We must be ready for the glory of God’s coming so that everyone will see salvation, everyone will know God’s glory and seek to share in it.
There is nothing more boastful and prideful than for a Father to see his children excel for the good. They can make a Father proud more easily and quickly than any one. It is always the children that the Father most relies on for the fulfillment of his will and the glorifying of him by their actions. Even though God is infinite glory, has been and will be forever, he still wishes to be our glory, to be glorified by us. We exist to bolster the glory of God. Not so he may be more glorious but so many more will know of his glory. We exists for the glory of God.
It is the glory of God that fills each of us, and fills all the earth. It is God’s glory that we await, God’s sharing of glory that we anticipate. We can recite the words of Isaiah:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts!
All the earth is filled with his glory! (Isaiah 6:3)
In this season of coming, we must be seeking out ways to glorify God. We must pray to know God’s will and do it, because this will glorify our Father, the one whose will we want to do.Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory! (Isaiah 6:3) Click To Tweet