Skip to main content

you make everything glorious

i'm at annual conference.  i don't make any attempt to hide my true feelings about these annual gatherings of methodist clergy and lay people from the entire region:  i'm not a huge fan.  don't get me wrong, i enjoy the worship and the fellowship, but i grow quickly weary of endless reports and church red tape.  more than that, i get really frustrated with how a body as large as this can't work very effeciently, in the midst of using roberts rules of order.  we get sidetracked and bogged down in process and minutia until we've completely lost our focus and, in my opinion, often end up wasting our time. 

i was feeling my frustration level rise like the mercury in the thermometer here in central pennsylvania yesterday as we were debating whether fracking is dangerous or not, making amendments to amendments and losing track of our focus when i suddenly read a tweet that someone wrote (i can't remember who it was, now), and it stopped me in my tracks.  the tweet read simply:  Lord, you make everything glorious. 

God makes everything glorious.  everything.  if that doesn't send a chill down your spine and give you goosebumps, then you didn't really pay attention.  in my theology it's called redemption.  what it means is that God takes whatever is broken, whatever is ruined, whatever is off-track, whatever is ugly, whatever is hopeless, whatever is bogged-down and brought low, whatever is crushed and crippled - everything - and makes it right, makes it whole, makes it right, makes it beautiful, makes it glorious.  even the mundane things.  even the broken things.  even roberts rules of order.  even our broken, fractured conversatios, and our failed attempts at being the church.  all of it.  God takes it and breathes into it and turns it into something glorious. 

which always leaves us with a choice.  will we sit and comment on and complain about the brokenness?  will we be snug in our cynicism?  or will we lift our eyes to a different level, to see what glorious thing God is doing?  today i choose to see the glorious.  tomorrow (or even later today), i may need to pray to ask God to help me keep seeing it, as the conversation here at annual conference gets bogged down in beaurocratic blabber.  but i will keep praying, keep asking, and keep looking, even in the midst of all the brokenness.  because i believe in a God who takes what is broken and makes it glorious. 


Crafty P said…
beautifully said.
Greg C said…
Wow. So I've had "My Glorious" in my head just about all day. Finally taking a quick break and thought-haven't been to Greg's blog in too long, need to check it out. Only to find this post! Wow.
greg. said…
today was brought to you by the number 8 and the word "glorious." :)

Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …