Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus?
Or in awe of you be still?
This is how the band MercyMe imagine being in the presence of the glory of God. But there’s a reaction to God’s glory which they’ve missed: falling to the ground in terror.
It’s simply not possible to be aware of God’s glory without being aware of our own deep inadequacies; without wanting to hide ourselves from God and avoid judgement. As the Old Testament puts it: “no one can see God and live” (Exodus 33:20). Except … John’s Gospel testifies that “we have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son” (John 1:14). What has changed?
In Jesus Christ, God’s glory is not something distant and transcendent. It’s not even fully revealed on top of the mountain where Jesus is transfigured, but on the cross where he dies and in the empty grave where he is raised. It is through the cross where we see that God’s glory is not against us, but for us. God’s glory is not something distant and unattainable, but God comes down to us in ordinary life – present even in the water with which Aagi was baptised.
Amidst our fears and failures, God is with us. All the time. And we are released as his people to bear this glory in the world, bringing hope. How wonderful is that!