Monday of the First Week

Readings

IS 4:2-6

MT 8:5-11

Reflection

Throughout my life, I have always struggled with seeing the “glory” of God, and this is partly because of the connotations that have been created with the word “glory”. I have never experienced God as someone sitting on a throne seeking gifts and affirmations like the kings you read about in history books or see in movies. I have always found God to be a dear friend who has humbled himself to be with us, feeling our every emotion and loving us more than we can imagine. But, the “glory” I often prescribe to is one society has undoubtedly created for me and that is of arrogant righteousness. And so, here lies the struggle.

In today’s readings, we are told of the glory of God in ways that make so much more sense to me. In the first reading by Isaiah, the prophet says, “For over all, the LORD's glory will be shelter and protection: shade from the parching heat of day, refuge and cover from storm and rain.” And, in the Gospel of Matthew, we are told of the glory of Jesus not by explicit language but by the centurion’s faith in Jesus and the greater good that he is. Both of these passages are a lesson to me as to what “glory” can entail and what it means in the context of our God. They emphasize God’s glory both as a loving protector and as something greater than us – something to strive towards and someone to strive to know better.

As we enter into this Advent season, it is in the preparation for the arrival of the “greater” in our lives through Jesus Christ where we can witness the glory of God. I find it as a challenge to myself to give glory to God by recognizing God’s challenging presence in my life to be better, to love more, and to constantly seek God’s presence more fully in my life.

Kenny Van Tilburg, ‘12
Associate University Minister