Christmas Advent, Faith, life, Spiritual Encouragement, Stories from Scripture, Uncategorized
Comment 1

The Advent Fulfilled: The Gift of Ever-Increasing Glory

Candle

For God,

Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”

made his light shine

in our hearts

to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God

in the face of Christ.

{2 Corinthians 4:6}

Dark and silence had settled over the hospital halls. In the small hours of morning, I held my firstborn baby and marveled at her features, her black, serious eyes, her rosebud mouth; her presence, long awaited I now felt in my arms, her features, once imagined, I now traced with my fingertips. I drank in the full reality of her.

And to this day almost two decades later, I never tire of looking at the faces of my children. That first-born child followed a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, a blighted hope, a fullness that dissipated and disappeared instead of developing into a baby who would force her way from dark womb into the light. As the weeks stacked upon one another, I looked at my growing belly with more hope and less fear that this little one would know life, and not death.

I will always remember the quiet hospital room, the yellow pool of light near my bed when I actually held her and knew the miracle of her, face-to-face. Then and there I realized that my life was forever changed, my choices and values and goals forever altered because of this one, new person. It was as if the veil lifted and I understood myself more fully, felt more intensely the purpose of my own existence.

Long ago, when the Israelite people spilled into the desert and learned to become a nation, children of God, only one man could stand in the light of the glory of God. His name was Moses.

The Bible tells us that Moses wore a veil over his face after he spent time in the presence of God in order to shade the glory that reflected off his face (Exodus 39:29-35, 2 Corinthians 3:7, 13-15) because it frightened and distracted the people he was leading. However, in Christ, the veil is taken away (2 Corinthians 3:15) and anyone who gazes upon the person of Christ as revealed through the word of God, “with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory… (v 18). And because the glory of God (the Spirit of the Lord, v 17) can move freely, just as light effortlessly fills a dark room, we get to experience this great freedom. We can soak up the light and be transformed with ever-increasing glory.

A wrapped gift is just a box of cardboard with paper blocking the view of the treasure within it’s covering. I can hold it in my hands and stare and stare, but it’s contents are obscured, hidden from sight. The gift is useless unless the wrapping is removed. And this Christmas, when tradition compels us to give gifts, wrapped and decorated with ribbons, could we pause and imagine the unwrapping of Jesus?

Could we gaze into the prophecy that announced his arrival, could we study the features of his life and the purpose of his coming and soak in his radiant glory?

Could we make enough time to stand in the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” in order that we might not just glow in wonder, but actually be “transformed into his likeness [ourselves] with ever-increasing glory”?

Is that not the greatest gift? God makes his light shine in our hearts. By his Spirit, we are lighted from within!

No veil can hide that kind of light, that heavenly glory! Because we don’t merely wear a temporary glow upon our skin that eventually fades, no! we become the light as well, and shine into dark places as he transforms us with ever-increasing glory.

God is all about the lights and the gifts and the glow of love that pulses and brightens a dark, winter night – it’s just that his gift far surpasses any that we could build or buy.

His gift is aglow with glory, it never wears out or fades. His gift is ever-increasing! Only the Spirit of God can give a gift like that, and it came on the words, “Let light shine out of darkness” and on the quivering, small cry of a baby, Jesus Christ, that broke through the darkness in Bethlehem, while Mary, his mother, looked upon him in wonder.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Alyssa
    Oh, this is so true. When Moses came down from Mt Sinai, his face was glowing with the glory of God, but it faded to show us that the glory of the law he received from God written on the stone tablets, couldn’t contain His glory indefinitely. That is why the Living Word has to give us new heart, a soft heart on which the law is written. Actually, He gives us Himself when we come to Him and lives in and through us to the glory of our Pappa God alone. This is truly just amazing!! Such love!
    Blessings XX
    Mia

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