Last week our son Dave, who teaches art at Nease High School, invited me to chaperon a brief field trip with his class. We were going to see a glass blower in action in St Augustine, which was probably not something on my bucket list but there it was. And frankly, it was an amazing experience!
WE went to the studio of Thomas Long who has his art placed around the world. Most recently, Disney bought a $250,000 piece from him for display in Downtown Disney. So much for the starving artist motif!
Long’s process is a little different than most, and he uses electric ovens to heat the glass. These ovens run 24/7 at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit! He patiently walked us through his process, then donned special glasses and opened what he called “the glory hole” to the oven. Anyone nearby felt the heat. All of us averted our eyes rather than look into the “glory” of that heat!
AND I thought about something as he continued talking. I thought about the verse we have come back to several times in these devotional thoughts. “And we beheld His glory; glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
How could we do that? God’s glory appearing to someone in the Old Testament was a death sentence. Moses asked God to “show me your glory.” And God placed Moses in the cleft of a rock and passed by, showing him only the back of His glory. (see Exodus 33:18-23)
But we don’t see the back of God’s glory. We behold the fullness of His glory in the face of Jesus. “Veiled in flesh,” we see the Godhead. “All the fullness of God” resided in Jesus. And we get to see it and live to tell about it!
Christmas reveals that glory to us. And not only that, but we are called to share that revelation with all who will hear. The glory of God, once found only in a pale refection in the heavens (“The heavens declare the glory of God”) now resides fully in the incarnation of God’s Son.
No wonder the angels sang “Glory to God in the highest….” And we can sing it too.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 40:5)
FOR REFLECTION: Thank God today that He has allowed us to “behold His glory” in Jesus!