As I have done in previous Lents I am sharing a daily reflection as part of my Lenten discipline. This year I am using the “Wilderness Wanderings” theme compiled by the “Lent Photo a Day” group. The word appointed for today is “Glory.”
Glory isn’t always the word that comes to mind during Lent. But there is one Lenten hymn in particular that paints a picture. John Bowring wrote the text for the hymn, “In the Cross of Christ I Glory.” The text sings as follows:
“In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time. All the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime. When the woes of life o’er take me, hopes deceive, and fears annoy, never shall the cross forsake me; lo, it glows with peace and joy. When the sun of bliss is beaming light and love upon my way, from the cross the radiance streaming adds more luster to the day. Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, by the cross are sanctified; peace is there that knows no measure, joys that through all time abide.”
During this season we particularly focus on the heinous symbol of death and crucifixion, the cross. A symbol so terrible, that during its usage, it was meant to be a sign of mockery and disgrace. Yet, that symbol has become the symbol of life, hope, and love through God in Christ. That is something to take glory in, and has been for Christians ever since the beginning of Christianity.
For Lutherans, it’s common to hear a focus on a “Theology of the Cross.” This is kind of ironic though, because a “Theology of the Cross” really is the opposite of a theology of glory. Rather than affirm a theology built on power and prestige, our faith and understanding is built on a God who joins humanity, confronts the sin of the world, and has mercy.
What do you take glory in? How do you take glory?
Source: John Bowring & Ithamar Conkey,”In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2006), 324.
Image Credit: “Glory!“
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