Lectionary 3 May 19

Today’s passages are around the Glory of The Lord. The passages parallel and confirm each other.

6 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train[a] of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”[b]
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.

Isaiah 6:1-4
Photo by Ben Klea on Unsplash

4 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and round the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings[a] and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
And round the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come!”
And whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they existed and were created.”

Revelation 4

There are three responses to the glory of God, that reoccur throughout scripture. The first is fear. The number of times that when angels appear or the Lord appears and people are terrified is numerous: the Isrealites would not step on the mountain when the glory of the Lord was there because they would die. The second is in the verses that follow this: conviction of sin. Isaiah knew that his lips were unclean, and he came from a people who were unclean. In front of the glory of God we feel dirty. And the third is worship. The elders are joining in the worship of the seraphim.

This world does not see the glory of the Lord. They discount this, looking instead to earthly pleasures.

For most of us, this is a constant temptation. A simple example: we have to keep a fairly tight diet to remain healthy. But there are many things advertised on the Television that are guaranteed to increase inflammation and challenge your metabolism. The actors eating them are being paid: if you look that good you are not eating that way. The advertisers pay behavioural experts to trigger our inner weaknesses.

And then they trigger us again with guilt about our state of health. The cycle is evil: it is better not to be on it.

But this world sees only youth, riches, power and wealth. The ephemeral rewards of a fallen state. They do not see the greater glory. They do not think at all of the spiritual. We should, for we have the prophets and revelation that testify to us on this.

And we are called not to be like them.