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God’s Glory is not a Laser Show

(Image from here)

What is God’s glory, exactly? What do (some) Christians mean when they talk about the ‘glory realm’?

Well, I think for a lot of Christians God’s glory looks something like a laser show, metaphorically speaking. For them it’s about bright flashing lights, angels appearing, the skies cracking open — THAT’s God’s glory for them. It’s all about the eyes — it’s all about seeing something amazing.

But Christianity can not and should never be relegated to that. This isn’t a laser show. This is about hearts changing. The fruits of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control. When people talk about God’s glory why don’t they ever talk about that? Is God’s glory about seeing something amazing, experiencing something out-of-this-world? Or is it in the simple day-to-day reality of becoming a person that reflects Jesus — a person who produces those fruits in a real rubber-hits-the-road kind of way.

A lot of people get stuck in hype rather than reality. Flashing lights are cool and all but they last only a moment. The Spirit producing His fruit is a lifetime thing. God’s glory is in the quiet un-hyped transformation of hearts. I recall Elijah’s experience when there was an earthquake and a forceful wind — yet the Lord was not in them. Rather, he was in the small, still voice. (1 Kings 19.)

Perhaps the reason for this disparity is when we don’t understand how glorious God’s creation actually is. The earth is glorious, and so are we — God’s creation, made in His image. Heaven and Earth met in Jesus when he walked this planet and now meet in us, by His Spirit. And, surprise surprise, most of that isn’t a big light show.


11 thoughts on “God’s Glory is not a Laser Show

  1. MH says:

    I think we all have a way to go before we truly experience on earth what I think God’s ‘glory’ actually is. For now, I put it down to personal experience of who God is in my life and what I see Him doing in me. There is nothing I can do to make it happen, work it up in me to happen and there are no actions I can perform, it’s simply living on earth with Him for now.

    I like what you said about the laser show. I have been to too many churches/meetings where they got the smoke machines going, the lasers, the lights, the funky slideshows and lyrics in eye-catching fonts and styles…. all for what? A fake glory? A ‘worshipful experience’? The ‘annointing’…?

    I think we’ve missed something as Christians when we’re trying to create concert vibe and call it ‘praise’ or even ‘worship’… we’ve missed it altogether.

  2. Thanks Matt,

    I do think we need to be careful, though, that things such as lights etc. in a ‘worship meeting’ are not more a matter of style and opinion.

    What I mean is that the Spirit is not more ‘there’ when we have lights, or more ‘there’ when we don’t.

    As a strange example, I tend to feel quite close to God on rainy days. I don’t know why. I think I just enjoy the beauty of it all. But others feel depressed on rainy days and feel closer to God on sunny days. For some it doesn’t even matter. This is a matter of preference and style.

    Some people want to get away from the flashy lights and rather whip out a few candles and sit silently for hours. That’s great, I enjoy that too thoroughly, but IMO God’s presence is not stronger with one than the other, it’s just a matter of preference.

    I’m not a fan of flashy lights, myself, and if anyone’s doing it to create a worship ‘experience’ so that their church could look cool, then of course that’s a load of crock. But I don’t see anything wrong with trying to facilitate a way to get people to come to God and enjoy Him.

    Churches have been doing it for ages. Liturgy can be fun and a great way to learn more about God and get into his presence. Even a rock-worship event is a kind of liturgy. I appreciate liturgy as much as I appreciate that I’m not bound to any liturgy, but at the same time I realise that we all form our own kind of liturgy — even those, like the Quakers, who’ll sit and wait for something to happen to make it ‘spontaneous.’ That’s also a kind of liturgy.

  3. MH says:

    Hey Ryan, you are correct. Makes more sense when you explain it now. I agree with differences of style. It’s when facilitation becomes focus (and I speak from experience) that I see things go awry… BUT God is above our human limitations and feeble attempts at creating our ‘desired’ atmospheres and comes along anyway!

  4. Pingback: Bright Light « Timothy West

  5. Kenneth L mills says:

    Wow this helped me understand something that I already live with didn’t quite understand what I was feeling during these times thank you very much

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