Reflection for 14th May:  the Glory of God

I take the theme today from a quote by St. Iraneus, ‘The Glory of God is the human person fully alive.’  I am reminded of this quote from the epistle ‘Stephen filled with the Holy Spirit gazed into Heaven and saw the Glory of God.’  Stephen experiences a huge disclosure moment of God’s presence.  In this moment he is alive to God’s presence in a truly experiential way.

There are times in our lives that we are more open to being touched emotionally by the Holy Spirit, be it at baptisms; weddings; funerals, nature’s grandeur or power;  a good book; or piece of music; whatever it takes to get through our natural defenses.  The Greek language ha two words for time: ‘Chronos’ and ‘Kairos’.

‘Chronos,’ time, measurable in years, (months and days – day 134) and “Kairos’  - a time of opportunity and a time of grace.  Between Easter and Pentecost is a time of grace and opportunity to be more receptive to the action of the Holy Spirit.  We are preparing for Christ’s ascension into Heaven; but Easter is not about escaping into Heaven.  Jesus returns to the Trinity to release the Holy Spirit into the Hearts of people to know that he is alive and lives in us.

The Glory of God is us Alive to the potential of the spirit within us.  It is about a growing awareness that we are a resurrected people (Kairos time).  Resurrection does not sweep us away to a painless place but reveals the redemption in our suffering now.  There is no pain, loss, sin, betrayal or shame that is final.  Somehow or other, in the end, there is harvest.  That is the Glory of God; we fully human and alive to the Holy Spirit leading us as individuals and as a community to a promised land, which we help to cultivate and harvest. 

The kingdom is a better place by your presence in it.  Jesus said the time of ‘Kairos’ favour is at hand; God is present to you in the scriptures;  in the breaking of bread; through encountering the goodness of others; every time you experience God’s Glory you are experiencing a Kairos moment.  Something of the mysterious presence of God.

I have shared with you that I am counting the days of the year, rather than the weeks and months.  Today is day 134 of 2017.  134 Kairos events.  Each days provides us with the opportune moment to experience God’s favour.  In fact the word ‘Kairos’ is used 86 times in the New Testament.  Each Sunday service is a Kairos moment; the time of the Liturgy is an intersection with eternity.  Again, Kairos is not a passive time: it is a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action, the opportune and decisive moment; definition of prayer: waiting patiently in expectation.  As was said in the film Dead Poets Society, ‘Carpe Diem’ – Seize the day.

The Glory of God is the human person fully alive.  As we fulfill our time potential we bring to light God’s Glory in the world.  It is about living a Kairos life in a Chronos world.

You can download this reflection here.