This article by Peter Patterson was found in the December 1985 issue of Progress, the monthly magazine of the Romford United Reformed Church
"Glory to God in the highest..." sang the angels heralding the very first Christmas. "Glory, glory, hallelujah!" we sing as we reach the chorus of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. "See you in Glory," we say as we part from Christian friends we might not see this side of Heaven. But what do we mean by this word GLORY?
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word carried the idea of worthiness. When used of men it spoke of their wealth or splendour. However, the glory of Israel was not in her riches but in her God - Yahweh. His glory was revealed in the cloud which led His people and settled on Mount Sinai (Ex. 16:19 and 24:15).
In the New Testament the Greek word in its secular sense means reputation. However, it is used mainly to describe the revelation of God in Jesus Christ.
Reflected in Jesus
"He reflects the brightness of God's glory," says the writer to the Hebrews in chapter one and verse three. The glory of God was to be revealed in many of the events surrounding the earthly ministry of Jesus.
In John's Gospel the hour of Christ's death is called His hour of glory showing that it was no accident but the supreme revelation of God's love and justice at the cross.
The challenge for us is that the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ should still be seen and reflected in the church (2 Cor 4:3f).
The resurrection and ascension are manifestations of the glory of God in Christ but above all it will be revealed in its fullness at the end of time when Christ comes again to take all believers to be with Him. See you in Glory!
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon