Thank you, Lord, for:
Alina and Jessica, always brighten my day!☀️
Incredibowls with LaMarr 😋mmmmm!
Great group of ladies in Zumba last night!
Long chat on the phone with Whitt 💗
Lunch with JoAnne
“the old word “glory.” Much of the meaning of this word has been lost in our century. When Jews of the ancient Near East spoke of “glory” (or kavod, as they would say in Hebrew) they spoke of weightiness, fullness, and substance….
While kavod meant heaviness —the opposite of light —the ancients also used “glory” almost synonymously with “light.” The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel saw God’s temple “filled with the brightness of the glory of the LORD,” and Isaiah looked forward to a day when “the sun shall be no more your light by day … but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.” For the Bible’s authors, God was not a distant flickering idea, but someone very real, luminous, and beaming.
How can this old word —kavod —help us understand the different ways in which deities shape identities today? Think of something both weighty and radiant that roughly half of the earth’s population can observe at this very moment —the sun. The sun has enough kavod, enough weightiness and radiance, to be the center point of our solar system. It has enough gravitas to keep earth and the other planets spinning on their proper orbits. It is also luminous enough to keep our tiny blue planet teeming with warmth, beauty, and life.
What would happen, however, if Pluto, disgruntled and embittered by the 2006 International Astronomical Union vote that stripped him of planetary rights, took revenge on our solar system with a plot to overthrow and replace the sun? Pluto’s cosmic coup would prove catastrophic. With a surface that is 98% frozen nitrogen and a mass less than a quarter of Earth’s, Pluto is no match for the sun’s kavod. The shift from a heliocentric to a plutocentric system would send the eight remaining planets spinning off their trajectories into chaos. The icy ex-planet’s lack of mass and radiance would soon turn earth into a cold, lifeless sphere drifting through lonesome space.
The insight becomes clear if we move from astronomy to psychology, from the space around us to the space inside us. If we place something too small and too dim at the center of our lives, something that lacks kavod, then the planets in our soul’s solar system —our creativity, intellect, emotions, moral sense, relationships, and so on —will tend toward a state of chaos and lifelessness. The lack of weight will cause many of those planets to drift into empty space, while the lack of light will turn any beauty on those planets into withered leaves.
If, however, the center of our souls, that which we glorify the most is, in reality, glorious, then our object of worship is massive enough to pull all the diverse spheres of human nature into a balanced orbit. There is also enough light to turn those different spheres inside us —our creativity, intellect, emotions, moral sense, relationality, and so on —into planets teeming with gardens, full of life and color.”
REFLECT: Becoming Yourself by Mirroring the Greatest Person in History” by Thaddeus Williams