Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power1 Chronicles 29:11
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
I would like to thank everyone for the tremendous response to yesterday’s important announcement (A Huge Moment for Rebekah and Derek). Your love and support and prayers are valued so much.
Then, I have to comment on a couple of key moments from Sunday morning. We may have invested heavily in technology as a church, but the tech can – and absolutely will – let you down when it counts.
- First, the video feed cut off right at a key point in Rebekah’s message. Virtual worship is not going away, and it will always be available for those who need it, but let this be a reminder that nothing beats being there in person!
- Then, my ZOOM Sunday school class (usually an hour and a quarter) was cut short at 40-minutes.
In both instances, the content was the final phrase of The Lord’s Prayer, “(yours is) the power and the glory.”
Power and Glory:
Our conversation about power was interesting and informative, but fairly straightforward; it is glory that really captures my interest.
I asked if anyone has ever directly experienced any glory? That includes witnessing it (like being there when a champion holds a trophy aloft to thunderous cheering and acclaim); but more than that, had they ever actually been the person who had in a sense been glorified?
It turns out very few people have experienced more than a fleeting or passing whiff of glory. A standing ovation after a speaking engagement? Scoring the winning goal in a championship game (or sinking the winning putt, or winning the important race)? A laudatory headline in the newspaper? Being recognized in public and pursued for an autograph…?
But even those who experience a moment of limelight cannot hold onto it. It is passing, fleeting, ephemeral, transparent, and it slips away just as soon as it comes… usually before.
Glory isn’t ours:
I think this happens because in a very real way glory isn’t something that belongs to humans. Glory is a God thing and it belongs to God alone. When it lights on us, it never lingers because glory cannot find a home there.
Maybe that is part of what makes glory so exhilarating when we do briefly stand in its light? We can’t hold it because it is like that line from The Sound of Music, “How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?”
Of course the moon offers borrowed light to begin with, simply reflecting what it receives from the sun. That’s what glory is, it is borrowed light. Properly, glory belongs to God alone.
What we see of glory, and the excitement it creates, is just a hint of a reflection of what is true “in heaven.” What an overwhelming, exhilarating, life-giving moment it will be when we come face to face with the source of glory!
Until then, we can approach God via worship, and we can be sustained. Glory is, in a sense, evidence of life, evidence of life beyond life, evidence of substance beyond what is temporary, and evidence of the promise of what is to come.
In gratitude, and with a great deal of wonder – DEREK
P.S. if you want to listen to Rebekah’s excellent message, you have to start with recording #1 then pick up recording #2 because of the video failure:
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.