Advent Daily Prayers
Week Four: Glorification
The root of the word “glorification” is the word “glory.” If you look closely, you might see the word “glow,” and your vision would not be far from the truth. “Glory” is an outshine of light; it is the light that shines, inherently, from a person or object. When we say that something is “glorious,” we mean that it actually shines. Physicists tell us that everything and everyone that exists has a temperature, that every object and person radiates heat, and that that heat is light. Everything and everyone around us shine if we only had eyes to see.
This last Sunday Laura Strong wrote the prayer and was our lay reader. As part of her preparation for that service she also wrote the following reflection to begin our week of prayers of glorification. We are sharing it with her permission.
“Father, we love you. We worship and adore you. Glorify Thy name in all the earth.” “We will glorify the king of kings, we will glorify the lamb. We will glorify the king of kings, who is the great I Am.”
It’s not about us.
It’s not about us—the subject of several sermons I’ve heard in years past. I try to take that phrase to heart, though not as often as I should. It sounds a little blunt, a little stern. And I guess it is.
But I think it’s wonderful. It’s not about us. It’s about so much more than us. It’s about the Creator of the universe, the loving Father, the Prince of Peace, the Holy Comforter. A God this good deserves all our praise, all our glory. There should be no one and nothing else we think of as highly—who can compare?
I started leafing through my copy of the Celebrating Grace hymnal I received years ago. Sometimes hymn lyrics say it better than I ever could. And there’s an added bonus of them getting stuck in my head. There are so many hymns about glory and its variations—whether in the title or the lyrics.
Some hymns that I noticed while combing through the Index of First Lines and Titles in the hymnal include “We Will Glorify,” “Glorify Thy Name,” “Glory, Glory Hallelujah,” “To God Be the Glory,” “All Glory Laud and Honor,” “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory,” and many more. There are ones we sing around Christmas, including “Angels, From the Realms of Glory,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and that wonderfully long chorus of “gloria” in “Angels We Have Heard On High.” Even the recurring song in Northside’s services, the Gloria Patri, tells of His wonders—He’s been here from the very beginning.
We marvel at images from space, and stories about the deepest parts of the oceans and the highest mountains. We see God in the kindness of strangers, in the love of family and friends, in that peace that surpasses all understanding. “Glory” denotes such a big reaction. It makes us stop in our tracks, laugh or cry, connects memories, and makes us appreciate our Creator. So let our minds be set on our magnificent, wonderful God this Advent season.
“To God be the glory, great things He has done.”
It’s not about us—and isn’t that wonderful?
We continue our focus on prayers of glorification.
Today we consider “Glory be to the Father.”
Almighty God, Father, Holy Parent, we give you glory. We recognize your light shining in this world. The great design of nature, the force of creation and recreation and reproduction. In your image, God, you created us, and we carry your image into your world. We want to let our light shine this week so that others will see you. Help us to create order in small ways instead of chaos. Help us to recreate your divine vision, person to person, for how we can relate to each other. Help us to reproduce your way as we walk through this life. In this way we magnify you. In this way, we let the light of your kingdom come into this world. In this way we give you glory in this holy season. Glory to you, Father God. Amen.
We continue our focus on prayers of glorification.
Today we consider “Glory be to the Son.”
Son of God, Son of Man, Jesus, lover of our souls, in your nature you brought our humanity into the Godhead. You brought us into the communion of the Trinity. In your nature, you brought your divinity into our human world. You brought God into the communion of the saints. You were the Word in the beginning. We didn’t know you then; help us to know you now. Help us to learn from you how to love this world and how to love God and how to love one another. Help us to commune with God and with each other so that we can bring the light of your kingdom into this world. In this way we give you glory in this holy season. Glory to you, Jesus the Son. Amen.
We continue our focus on prayers of glorification
Today we consider “Glory be to the Spirit”
Breath of God, Fire of God, Spirit, blow through our lives, burn through our excuses, move us, melt us, gift us for your mission to reach all people. We feign ignorance of their needs, of their language, of our abilities, of our gifts. We seek out those who are only like us; we seek our own salvation first and foremost. Come along side of us, nudge us toward the right way, and teach us how to speak the words of invitation and love to welcome the stranger, the other, the neighbor like or unlike us. Help us to hold open the doors to welcome everyone so that we can bring the light of your kingdom into this world. In this way we give you glory in this holy season. Glory to you, Holy Spirit. Amen.
We continue our focus on prayers on glorification
Today we consider “Glory to God, World Without End.”
The phrase “world without end” is one way to translate the Latin phrase “et in saecula saeculorum.” Literally, it can be translated as “and unto the ages of ages.” It speaks, then, to the eternality of God and God’s kingdom. This created world will end, but the new creation, brought into being through Jesus and the Spirit, will never end.
Great God, eternal and abiding, we pray that your kingdom will come, that your glory would shine forth even now in the darkness of this world. In these days, in faith, we pray forward in hope for your glory, your light, to shine into the alleyways and basements, into the boardrooms and living rooms, into the front offices and the backrooms of power. “The glory of the Lord will shine forth, and all flesh will see it together.” Open our eyes to your light because we have spent so much time peering into the dark. We know that you bring down the mighty from their thrones, and you send the rich away empty. We know that you exalt the lowly and fill the hungry with good things. Help us to live in hope even as the world we thought we knew is passing away. Help us to see you and follow you into the ages of ages. “Glory to you, O God, world without end. Amen.”
Happy Christmas to you all! Tonight, in our Christmas Eve service you will hear the poem “Gaudete” by Brad Reynolds. “Gaudete” in the Latin imperative that means “rejoice,” and Reynolds, playfully and joyfully, calls us to worship as we move from our time of Advent prayers into our celebration of the twelve days of Christmastide.
Poem: “Gaudete”* by Brad Reynolds
Because Christmas is almost here
Because dancing fits so well with music
Because inside baby clothes are miracles.
Because some people love you
Because of chocolate
Because pain does not last forever
Because Santa Claus is coming.
Because of laughter
Because there really are angels
Because your fingers fit your hands
Because forgiveness is yours for the asking
Because of children
Because of parents.
Because the blind see.
And the lame walk.
Because lepers are clean
And the deaf hear.
Because the dead will live again
And there is good news for the poor.
Because of Christmas
Because of Jesus