Thursday, March 17, 2016

Glory Our God

By Beth DeCristofaro

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him: “My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations. No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations. … God also said to Abraham: “On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”  (Genesis 17:3-5, 9)

Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him. … Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” (John 8:54-55, 58)


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  During Lent we have the opportunity again to consider what it means to be Christian.  Patrick, kidnapped and enslaved, found God and the audacity to proclaim Him in spite of want, fear and the wiping away of his identity.  Yesterday we heard the story of three Israelites thrown into a white-hot furnace because they refused to worship an idol.  And Abraham conversed with God!  Today’s Gospel shows us Jesus upbraiding the leaders for their hardness of hearts, their refusal to let the glory of God shine through their lives instead of basing their faith on public, shallow piety. 

These are hard acts to follow but there have been many examples of Christians who shine God’s glory in small but miraculous ways in my life.  I think first of my mom who celebrates her birthday today! She served as an RN, volunteers to this day but through it all she stayed in the background, quietly dispensing kindness and faithfulness.  I think of my loving husband who gave the ball cap off of his head to a cold homeless man.  Friends that surrounded and did not let a family faced with tragedy face it alone inspired me as did a divorced woman with whom I worked who provided round the clock care for her dying ex-husband.  A stranger harbored me with a safe place to sleep when I was briefly without shelter.  God’s glory round about.

The glory of God humbles us yet uplifts us through Christ’s grace as we keep covenant.  Far from easy, the Beatitudes offer us an identity rooted in Christ’s love. Which Beatitude do you find most challenging?  The works of mercy offer us ways to practice walking beside Christ and letting God’s glory shine to everyone.

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