Date: May 28, 2017
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church
Asheville, North Carolina
Sermon: “The Glorified Heart”
Rev. Samantha Gonzalez
“Inside this little wooden box
This is what
to her antsy fifth grade Sunday School class.
“Do you want to see what God looks like?”
All of her students beg
an to jump high in their seats.
“Ooo, Ooo, Yes! Yes!” “Can I see? Can I see?”
old David, on the other hand, was m
uch more skeptical. He slouched back in his
chair and grumbled, “God in that tiny box? Come on! How’d you capture God anyway AND
how come God is travel size
I thought God was as big as the universe?”
“Who wants to open the box first?” asked Ms. Roberta
. Many of the students threw their
in the air. B
efore anyone was called upon, she warned the class, “Now I just
want to tell you to proceed with great caution
once you get a glimpse of almighty God, you
will never be the same. Seeing God i
n all God’s glory will change you in profound ways
The students began to lower their hands.
“How about if we just keep this box on the table here for a while?” she said “…just so we
don’t rush into anything, so you can be sure that you are r
eally ready for what lies inside.”
Who here hasn’t wondered what God really looks like?
Haven’t we hungered to really know the Lord
to finally feel completely certain in our faith,
to be able to approach God with questions that have long
to feel fully connected to God’s glory like never before?
And yet at the same time, we know that if we truly are able to recognize God, our lives will
have to shift in major ways. We are not sure if we want to have to turn away from our own
glorious dreams and hard
earned accomplishments, in order to follow God’s
Spirit down an
unknown path, way beyond the safety of these walls.
When we think about the word “glory”, we think
achievement. We think winner. We think
success: the Olympics. The Oscars. Class President. Graduation.
fought battle that finally
prompts the enemy to retreat.
A team of soccer players pronounced world champions.
A winning candidate thanking a crowd of supporters.
An honorary college degree awarded to one who is successful
making one head of the company.
on’t really give out awards for:
“Most improved pray
“Perfect worship attendance”
“Best group hymn harmony”
“Most zealous passer of peace”
as we know it
is an end goal.
Success that we
yearn to achieve
because we hope and
believe it will f
ortify our life’s worth.
There is no gl
ory in coming in second place,
tried your hardest,
or not being “quite” there yet.
There is certainly no glory in losing.
Yet “God’s glory”: the glory Jesus talks about over and over again in today’s passag
the glory Jesus exemplifies to us throughout his life and ministry,
is far different than this
very human understanding of it.
In his lifetime, Jesus never achieved “world
He wasn’t wealthy or competitive or even well
He was re
bellious, radical, a rule breaker for sure.
He didn’t own his own home and we can argue that he was never married or had
He was certainly
despised by those in power.
And in his mid
thirties, he was put on trial.
He was tortured and condemned to d
ie on a cross.
Not a very ‘glorious’ life at all.
This is confusing. How is Jesus a vision of God
? And when Jesus speaks to the Lord
that night before his death
at exactly is he trying to say?
“Glorify your Son, so that the Son may glorify you,” Jesus prays.
“Father, I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. Gl
orify me in
your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.”
e Gospel writer John, glory is not a moment in time, not an end goal or a finish line, it
is the embodiment of something far more mysterious and precious and simple:
f we see Jesus, we see God.
We see a life focused on God’s wondrous hopes for the