This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory and his disciples put their faith in him. - John 2:11
One of the powers of studying Scripture through a daily reading plan is that it purposefully allows us to slowly read and focus on the text to truly savor what it means for us. This is what I have been experiencing through the church-wide study of the Gospel of John during this season of Lent. I hope that you have been able to pick up a copy of the reading plan, the Lenten Journey guide. If not, they are available in a plastic bin on the table outside the church office (closest to the parking lot) or you can pick one up at one of our Sunday morning services. In that guide is a wonderful resource showing you how to best study and journal as you read through the daily Scriptures. It is called the S.O.A.P method (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer) adapted from Wayne Cordero’s Life Journal resource.
The first step, of course, is to read the assigned passage and allow God to speak to you. Then look for a verse that particularly speaks to you. In this week's reading in John chapter 2, my attention kept going back to the scripture above. For some reason, I kept going back to the word “glory.” It is a word that you see a lot in Scripture. Hear it a lot in church. Maybe so much that you gloss over it and don’t really absorb what it truly means. I guess I have been conditioned by way too many TV evangelist who overuse that word, stretching it out to four syllables, the “Gul-lor-e-ry of God!”
So, I felt inspired to dig deeper into the meaning behind this seemingly overworked term. What I discovered gave me a deeper appreciation for this word in helping me to get my arms around who God is. One writer I read attempts to explain the word by referring to the text from Isaiah 6:3. In this passage, the prophet Isaiah sees a vision of a multi-winged seraphim, singing praises to God by exclaiming, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of his glory."
The writer poses the question that since the Lord Almighty is Holy, he says it three times, why wouldn’t he write that the whole earth is filled with his Holiness? Why is the word “glory” used here? The answer is that God possesses a multitude of attributes associated with Him—God is good, perfect, unchanging, merciful, forgiving, all-powerful, all-knowing, universal, wise, faithful, just, gracious, loving, and yes, holy—just to name a few.
So, when Jesus speaks that he performed the miracle at the wedding in Cana, he did it to give glory to God. It was to show and reveal who God really is, in all His grandeur. When we give God glory, we are intentionally revealing to all, who God is in all His qualities. By doing so, we are not making God glorious, God is already glorious. There is nothing we can do to make that happen. But we can live out our lives to the glory of God. So that our aspiration is revealing who God is. All his attributes. Broadcast them, share them to the world. To manifest God’s glory is a phrase we hear a lot—“manifest,” meaning to display or show by our words and actions.
So, now I can truly understand what Paul meant when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Thanks be to God for stirring me to take a deeper look at one particular word in my reading today.