Friday, September 27, 2013

A glimpse of glory

Last Saturday night I was doing one of my favorite things. Yeah, you know. I was sitting in Bryant Denny Stadium watching the first Alabama home game of the season. It was a long-awaited night and I was soaking in every moment. The excitement, the colors, the traditions, and the energy of over 100,000 Bama fans packing the place.

It was the end of a dreary day weather-wise, but it didn't matter to us. Rain, rain, and more rain had given way to a cloudy late afternoon, and pretty comfortable temperatures. And then, early in the second quarter, the sun broke through. Broke through right as it was about to set, and the view above the stadium walls was spectacular.

From my seat
And even better, a panoramic view borrowed from my niece Haley

At that moment, I forgot why I was there for just a moment. I was overwhelmed with the majesty of God's creation, and how he had taken just that moment to paint a spectacular picture for us. Yes, at that moment God provided us with a reminder of his glory. But even more, I marveled as I thought of the fact that creation itself was praising the Creator. As it says in the 19th Psalm, "The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge."

We usually think of praise as something that comes from the lips of humans. We  sing, we read, we pray...we praise. But the Scriptures are filled with this message: All of creation is designed to bring glory to God, and to praise him by its very existence.*

And so it was at that moment, and it was noticed throughout the stadium I don't know how many pictures I saw on Facebook from those who stopped watching football - for just a moment - to notice how the heavens were declaring the glory of God.

And then we got back to football. The Crimson Tide sleepwalked to a 31-6 victory over Colorado State. And it was fun. But the thing I'll remember most about that night was the magnificent intermission, when we saw God's glory through a stunning painting in the sky.

Thank you, Lord.

* - For a more detailed discussion, see Chapter 5 of NT Wright's The Case for the Psalms: Why They are Essential.

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