Today’s reading is drawn from Isaiah 6:3 and Colossians 3:23.
A central theme in Scripture is the glory of God. Yet to many of us, God’s glory seems like an abstract concept. What is it exactly? When people conceive of God’s glory, they often think of ethereal or immaterial realities, not physical things we experience in the world every day.
Isaiah, however, tells us that God’s glory can be seen in creation. As Isaiah is in awe of God in heaven, the seraphim are in awe of God’s glory displayed on earth: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory,” they cry.
God didn’t want to be known only by himself. He wanted others to experience his goodness. But since God chose to create us as physical beings, he also elected to express physically to us his invisible qualities. Thus, God created a world in which we can see his glory expressed in all the beautiful things he has made—trees, flowers, mountains, oceans, animals, everything. God’s glory, therefore, is something that we experience tangibly through our senses and is meant to leave us in awe of who he is. And when we behold God’s glory and recognize him for who he is, we can’t help but worship him—just as Isaiah did.
But that’s not the whole picture. Just as God’s creative work reveals who he is, so our work is a tangible expression of our identity. Because we have been created in God’s image, we reflect who we are in the work we do. And ultimately our work is meant to reflect God’s glory as we participate in his glorious work. He created us not only so that we would know him in all his splendor, but also so that we would reflect his character to the world around us.
Most of us don’t naturally sense that our work is glorious. If we’re honest, we probably think our ordinary jobs have little lasting value. But a rich understanding of how God’s glory is reflected in creation tells us that even the most commonplace jobs have incredible value. Just as a common flower, such as a lily, can reflect God’s beauty, so can a common job, such as a house painter
How does your work communicate who you are as God’s image bearer? How might your work communicate God’s glory in the world?