‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’
In John’s Gospel Jesus spoke about the hour of glory quite often, but plenty of people misunderstand that because Jesus was talking about the Cross. One way of thinking about the Cross is thinking that God was showing us how much God loved us. Some people manage to show quite a lot of that love in their lives, such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta who shone with glory in her work with the poorest people of that city. Sadly, many of us might not be the inspiration to millions that she was, but God’s challenge to us is to reflect just a little bit of God’s glory in what we do.
In one of the historic statements of faith in our Reformed tradition, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the first question and answer is this (noting that that the usage of language in the seventeenth century is different to the twenty-first):
Q: What is the chief end of man? A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
The United Reformed Church expressed a similar intention in its Statement of the Nature, Faith, and Order of the United Reformed Church (1990) when it said:
Source, Guide, and Goal of all that is: to God be eternal glory.
May it be so, through us, with God’s help.
The glory is yours, eternal Christ. ‘Glory’ is not ﬂamboyant show, jewels sparkling, processions of majesty and pomp, marble halls and kneeling multitudes Glory is a child laid low in manger, a listening teacher and a shy healer, a criminal’s cross and borrowed grave and an unproved resurrection built alone on questing faith. The glory is yours, eternal Christ. Amen.
The Rev’d Michael Hopkins is Minister of the Spire Church, Farnham, Elstead URC, and serves as Clerk of the General Assembly.