Thursday, January 27, 2011

Declaring the Glory of God.

Lately I have been thinking about the verse from Psalm 19 that says “the heavens declare the glory of God”. How can that be true? What does that mean? It is easy to just say “Oh creation is beautiful and therefore when we look at it, we can see that there is a God, a Good God” But this, I think, misses the point. It makes it too subjective. What if humanity did not exist? Would the creation still be declaring? It seems like by our criteria, they would not. Because by declaring, we usually mean that the heavens are declaring to us to the glory of God. But I don't think that is what the heaven's are doing at all. I think they are magnifying the name, honor, power and majesty of God. Not to us. But to God. We are simply happy observers of this endless praise.

And that I think has enormous implications. Fundamentally, it means that things bring glory to God, that they bring worship and declaration of praise and honor, when they exist as they were made to exist. Worship is not an activity, per se. Worship is being what God made you to be. Rightful existence is what glorifies God. This means that working well is glorifying to God. It means that having a family is glorifying to God. It means that fulfilling the cultural commission is glorifying to God: art, music, architecture, farming, building, growing, learning, loving, laughing, eating—all of these declare the glory of God. Humanity existing as it was made to exist, loving as it was made to love, living as it was made to live: this is worship. The Gospel, the Kingdom, these are about restoring creation and ourselves to a rightful existence with God, so that God may be glorified.

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