Several years ago I was asked to write a “Lenten Reflection” for our Sunday church bulletin. Life is a journey, and music helps me navigate its peaks and valleys. I thought you would enjoy this reflection as we enter Holy Week.
What’s on your iPod? An iPod’s content reveals what motivates, interests and relaxes a listener. When I step out to run, I dial up my high-energy playlist, which has everything from “Rumour Has It” by Adele, “Cecilia” by Simon & Garfunkel, and yes, “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones. Perhaps my favorite piece to accompany me on a run is “And the Glory of the Lord Shall be Revealed” from the Messiah by G. F. Handel. Aside from its musical magnificence, those nine words of Handel’s chorus have spoken to me many times over the years during good times and those not so.
The lyrics of the work are based on Isaiah 40:5, where the prophet tells of the coming of the Messiah, and through him God’s glory will be revealed. There is no time better than Lent to ponder that passage. During Lent, we reflect, sacrifice, and discipline ourselves to await Jesus’ resurrection, God’s ultimate glory. Although Lent is the most powerful time to meditate on God’s glory, I believe if one is prayerful throughout the year, God’s glory is revealed in wonderful and unexpected ways.
In times of fear, uncertainty and doubt (the FUD’s), I pray for God’s glory to be revealed to me. All of us have experienced the FUD’s, and some of us have had more than our fair share of reasons to have them. Sometimes it seems that the good Lord is being very unfair, but I strongly believe that God reveals glory so that “Every valley shall be lifted up and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain” (Isaiah 40:4). In other words, while our prayer for intercession (please cure the cancer, help me find a job, or save my marriage), may not be answered in the way we want, praying for God’s glory to be revealed will help one through the FUD’s of the situation.
I have experienced God’s glory in many ways. To me, the most beautiful form of his love is shown through the actions of others: a comforting nurse, a kind letter, or a good laugh with a friend. My family has faced numerous challenges over the years. Our friends, family and neighbors have delivered meals, washed our laundry and cared for our children, all of which sustained and comforted us through those trying times. Our FUD’s were real, but so were the glories that awaited us. I believe that being a “doer of the word” can actually reveal God’s glory to another person.
Lent is a time of personal introspection to await God’s ultimate glory of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. After Lent ends, don’t forget to pray for the glory to be revealed throughout the year. If you need a reminder, just put it on your iPod. Click here to listen to And The Glory Of The Lord – Chorus