Monday, June 3, 2013

And They All Glorified God

There’s something funny going on here. We’re a Track-2 parish (though I notice that the Track-1 lessons include the Track-2 OT lesson as an option), and all three lessons end with the same theme.

In Luke 7, Jesus touched the funeral bier of a widow’s only son. When he sat up and started talking, the crowd “glorified God, saying ‘A great prophet has risen among us!’ and ‘God has looked favorably on his people!’”

In Galatians 1, Paul recalls for his readers that he was not known to the churches in Judea personally but that they had heard of his conversion—“the one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” And then the kicker—“And they glorified God because of me.”

In 1 Kings 17, the son of the widow at Zarephath became ill and died, and Elijah prayed so that God brought him back to life. When he gave the widow back her son, she exclaimed, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.” These words came from a woman who, upon meeting Elijah, first remarked, “As the LORD your God lives…” (emphasis added). It seems that she has come around, too.

All three stories are remarkable. Two sons brought back to life. A zealot brought from the power of death into life. And each time the result of the story is bigger than the miracle itself. They glorified God. They recognized God and his work. Instead of focusing merely on the person working the miracle, they point to the one behind the miracle.

This Sunday, I’m looking for a way to share that connection with a congregation. What does it mean to look at the things God is doing around us and glorify God because of them? How can we notice the ways in which God is intervening in our life and trace that back to God himself? Maybe we should all make a list of the ways God has blessed us. Maybe we should turn to our neighbor and share an example of what he has done for us. I get the sense that, if we’re conscious of the ways God acts in our lives, we will be filled with an overwhelming desire to glorify him.

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