The Subtlety of Glory: Part 2

RODNEY EVANS PC’14

The “elements” in part one of this post, and others like them, are commonly found in any activity, whether it is a missionary trip, or a trip to Durefee’s. God has endowed creation with such intricate depth, that even the smallest of things can be used to communicate the most precious and profoundest of truths. Even the most profound topics can be explained through the most rudimentary of terms. It is only through this realization that we can begin to move to a more full vision of who God is. God doesn’t need to rely on physical, material, or fleshly grandeur to reveal his glory. God himself appeared in the form of a poor Jewish carpenter, only to die a criminal’s death on an obscure hill. And yet, this Man and this death are at the very core of universal reality and purpose.

Recent advances in scientific knowledge have actually caused our awe of the world around us to fracture. The wonder of Mt. Everest seems to dissipate in light of our theoretical awareness of the universe’s sheer immensity. This is because the created universe has become our “God” in a sense. The means by which “greatness” is defined is now only found in relation to the universe itself. Even human life is slowly being devalued in our society as it slips into the category of cosmic insignificance.

We must leave this false metric of value and return to a recognition of God as the locus of greatness, the locus of glory. In truth, it is the personal God, Yahweh Himself, by which we should measure the greatness and value of any and all things in existence. When we recognize this true King of Glory, the following things ensue:

  • A small flower in an unknown field can now be seen as a beautiful living thing which the Almighty God cares enough about to clothe in a splendor which surpassed King Solomon’s (Matt. 6:25).
  • A minuscule human embryo is now seen as the glorious creative spark of God’s sovereign creativity in the forming of an eternal human soul, purposed to image its Creator.
  • The salvation of only 3 souls in a decade long faithful ministry to an indigenous unreached people is not meaningless. Rather, it is a glorious display of God’s grace and power that any human rebel could finally surrender, and thus enjoy the wondrous inheritance found in Christ.
  • The immense, unfathomable outer universe and all its contents are not seen as the final objective “glory” of reality, but rather as a glorious (but still incomplete!) display of the greatness of the One who created it.

And thus, even the incarnation becomes feasible. An infinite God’s condescension to lowly human flesh, while infinitely gracious and mysterious, is not absurd. For how would He have come? Should the God of the universe have been adorned in a glorious light, or maybe in the form of a beautiful “king-like” man? For “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). There is nothing beautiful enough, nothing great enough, nothing immense enough in this world, to embody and fully display God in His fullness! And yet this Man, Jesus Christ, embodied the fullness of Deity. How? Because our metric for valuing Christ was not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Thus, it is only this understanding of creation’s incompleteness, which allows us to fully appreciate it in light of God’s purposes. Therefore, let us give up our false and unwarranted reverence for creation in order to embrace a true, and fully warranted reverence for a creation which carries our heats and minds to the courts of a glorious King.

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