Love and Glory

(Awaken me in due time that I may glorify you)

for you alone are good and love all people

God’s ability to love all people? It’s not what comes to mind when I think about glory. It isn’t cosmic in scope, like the universe; it isn’t something I can hold in my hand, like a flower or butterfly. It has no color or shape; I won’t run into it when I come around a corner. It’s as real as anything and everything, but I don’t spend much time looking for it or thinking about it. I doubt I’ve ever glorified God because of it. What a sad commentary on the state of my soul.

I don’t love everyone, and I don’t love every particle of God’s creation. I am indifferent to multitudes of people I’ve never met (and never will meet), and there are individuals I really don’t like. My heart and soul are too small and I am too selfish to love everyone. Maybe that’s why I haven’t put glorifying God and loving all people together.

Goodness, divine and human, is about loving all people. It isn’t a moral achievement earned by giving up drinking or swearing, and it can’t be bought for any price. It isn’t an individual talent or solo activity. It’s in the space between me and every other person, every other thing, in this world. I may never be able to love all people, but I can certainly love more of them than I do right now. Every day, every minute, offers me the chance to glorify God by loving others. What a wonderful truth to sleep on.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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