photo above and writing by Jean Andrianoff,
Our home in the Pacific Northwest lies across the road from waterfront property. Our neighbors on the other side of the road have stunning views of Puget Sound. Our view, on the other hand, is limited to a small peek-a-boo area through the trees.
One morning recently, I walked out of the kitchen into the living room to be greeted by an intense blaze of light shining through the southeast side of the living room window as the rays of the rising sun reflected off the water. I had never before seen light coming from just that spot. My point of view at that particular moment perfectly revealed the glory of the sunlight on the water. The angle of the sun relative to the water and to the gap in the tree branches created the perfect perspective.
Perspective also matters when you attend a ballet or concert or sports event. There’s a reason tickets closer to the performance cost more. Twice in my life, I was privileged to attend a performance of the Bolshoi Ballet. The first time, I sat in the “nose-bleed” section of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, entranced by where I was and who was performing, but with only the most remote view of the performers. The second time, I was in the Thailand Cultural Center, where the Bolshoi had come to perform in honor of the Thai king’s 60th birthday. There, I could afford seats near the front, where the difference in perspective was breathtaking. I could see facial expressions and perceive the effort and skill required to create the illusion of weightlessness. From that viewpoint, I could appreciate the full glory and beauty of the performance.
On this side of eternity, our perception of the glory of God is limited. As God explained to Moses, no human can see His face, or the fullness of His glory, and live. Jesus showed mankind glimpses of God’s glory, but He wants more for us. He wants us to see the full extent of that glory, a glory that we will ultimately reflect (2 Corinthians 3:18). In His final prayer for all believers, Jesus prayed:
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world (John 17:24, ESV).
His desire is that we may stand with Him in Heaven where we will enjoy the perfect perspective of God’s glory as we gaze at Jesus, our perception no longer constrained by human limitations. As Jesus acknowledged, His glory is a love-gift from God. Jesus wants to pass along that love so that we may perceive His glory and, as we see it, ultimately to reflect it.
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