The Weight of Glory: Part 6, Welcome Home

Lewis finally turns to the word "glory" in his sermon and he shares the twofold definition he initially held about the world "glory." The first is that glory involves "luminosity," like beholding "the glory of the Lord" or "the glory of a sunset." This luminosity is what we're artistically depicting when we paint halos around the heads of Christ and the saints in icons.

The second definition of glory involves fame or winning accolades.

Both definitions, Lewis shares, initially left him cold. Regarding fame and accolades, that sort of glory smacks of competition and pride. As for luminosity, Lewis says, "who wishes to become a kind of living electric light bulb?"

But as Lewis explored the Christian tradition he discovered that "glory," for humans, means "fame with God, approval or (I might say) 'appreciation' by God." Glory is God looking at us and saying, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." As Lewis describes it:
To please be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or father in a son--it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.
The "weight of glory" is the happy, incomprehensible fact that God loves and delights in us.

With that definition in hand, Lewis returns to his argument from desire and shows how glory is "good news" for us.

Specifically, while we have a longing for our true Home, it still is a longing, often a longing full of pain and anguish. We're not Home yet, and standing on the doorstep we wonder if we will ever be let inside. We feel this exile and alienation keenly. In those moments, the universe seems coldly indifferent to us. As Lewis says, we "sense that in this universe we are treated as strangers." The cosmos doesn't seem to notice our sorrows or care about our heroic struggles to make it through just one more day.

But it's here, in that alienation, where we find the gospel of glory. Our longings and desires will finally be met with an open door and a "Welcome home!" Lewis writes,
And surely, from this point of view, the promise of glory, in the sense described, becomes highly relevant to our deep desire. For glory means good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgement, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply