September 13, 2021

Isaiah 6:1-3
I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

This week we are looking at the holiness of God. But these verses display a fascinating aspect of God’s holiness that, for me, is unexpected. Separately, the last two phrases of these verses make sense. God is holy. In other news, the whole earth is full of his glory.
But what if we see them as two parts of one thought. What if we begin seeing the glory of God around us as a reflection and illustration of his holiness? I often attribute the glory I see to God’s love, care and attention. Things like newborn babies, celebrating a wedding, and the kindness of strangers all feel like reflections of God’s love.

Meanwhile, I attribute the harsher aspects of what I see around me - justice, order, and correction - those things I ascribe to God’s holiness. I usually see those types of things as necessary - not glorious. By the time justice is required, I’m already exhausted or sad or angry. Order is difficult and full of conflict. So an encouragement to see justice and order as glorious rings hollow most days. There is tremendous value in seeing hard things as glorious - but that’s a difficult place to be, day in and day out. And I’ve come to believe that restricting God’s holiness to the hard (but good) realities of life limits my understanding of who God is.

What if we start drawing a thread between the things we see as glorious, whatever that might be for you, and God’s holiness? A wedding becomes not only a celebration of love. The union of two people is sacred. They are set apart from others in order to more deeply connect with one another. Their marriage is holy. The unspoiled wilderness isn’t just a reflection of God’s creativity - its glory demonstrates the purity of God’s holiness. The unscalable heights of a mountain illustrate how unattainable the character and standard of a holy God is above our own. I could wax poetic for several more paragraphs; but my hope is that when you experience something amazing this week - whether very small or miraculous - you pull on the thread of glory and see it tied back to God’s holiness.
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