Acts 1:6-14, 1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11, John 17:1-11
How long might the apostles have stood on that hillside, staring up at the clouds, had not the white-robed ones nudged them into action? Experiencing the unfiltered glory and mystery of God seems to have overwhelmed them and left them grasping for an appropriate response. Our reading from the Gospel of John foreshadows this moment, when Jesus prays for glorification to bind together God and the people of God in ways that we’re still struggling to live out.
According to one dictionary definition, to glorify is “to cause to be or to treat as being more splendid, excellent, etc. than would normally be considered.” Are these readings asking us to cast aside “normal consideration”—to focus instead the light and gift of our full attention on all that God gives us, whether delightful, unpleasant, painful or strange? Can our whole lives be a magnifying glass that brings into greater clarity and precision God’s invitation to abundant life for all?
What happens when we come down from the hillside, shaking our heads over the wonders we’ve seen? Can we find signs of hope, and of God’s loving companionship among the anxieties and frustration of our daily lives? What gifts of vision will meet us when we set out to look for splendor wherever we go? And what work will these visions call us to do?
Carol James has been part of the cathedral community for over a decade. She has served as a co-mentor in the Education for Ministry program. She currently leads the evening prayer providers in our Jail Ministry and is a cathedral staff member.