Devotion for the Third Sunday in May
“When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.'” (John 13:31-32)
There are some words that I have difficulty understanding. Especially in church circles, we have these words that we use all the time, though I am not sure that we really know what they mean.
“Glorify” is one of those words. What does it mean that Jesus has been “glorified”? What does it mean that God is “glorified”?
In Greek, the word we translate in the New Testament as “glorify” has a primary meaning of “think” or “imagine.” Listen to what the above two verses sound like if we substituted “imagine” for “glorify”:
“When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been imagined, and God has been imagined in him. If God has been imagined in him, God will also imagine him in himself and will imagine him at once.'”
In other words, if you want to know what God is like, then look at Jesus. Jesus pictures for us who God is like. God’s imagination is shown in Jesus. God’s thought is lived in Jesus. God’s intention for the world is known in Jesus.
And we – who are called to be like Jesus – are invited to have God imagined within us. How does that happen? Jesus tells us:
“Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
We imagine who God is when we show love. We imagine who God is when we live and love as Jesus lived and loved, when we welcome those who are lonely or despised, when we feed the hungry and give shelter to the homeless, when we kneel down and serve one another.
So, let us join together to imagine all that God can be like, even as Jesus showed us how that looked.
God, thank you for showing me your thought and intention in Jesus. Help me to imagine who you are with those who need it the most. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor David Armstrong-Reiner