August 13, 2021

¡O Gloria Inmarcesible!

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth.
Job 19:25
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Of all national anthems, the one I know and love the most is, of course, my own: The Star-Spangled Banner. But there is a runner-up. I lived for two years in Bogotá, and it's impossible to spend any time in Colombia without hearing their national anthem. By law, it has to be played on all radio and TV stations at both 6 AM and 6 PM, so even foreigners learn it relatively quickly. Luckily, it's a great anthem, the opening words of which are ¡O gloria inmarcesible! or O unfading glory!
It's nice to think about the immortal glory of a country's independence. But of course the pomp of all nations eventually fades to dust. Even the greatest of human empires will pass away. But to this we can compare the Realm of God, which is eternal. God's kindom isn't even necessarily found in the things and people we consider to be glorious, for it's greatest manifestation was in the words, works, and Person of Jesus Christ.

Indeed, when John's gospel speaks of the glory of God as found in Jesus Christ, he almost always references neither his miracles nor his resurrection, but his crucifixion—the very event that the human mind would consider to be humiliation. And yet it was Christ's self-giving that demonstrated to us that God's glory is found in obedience and unconditional love.

When all seems lost, God's grace is still sovereign. Even in the face of death, God is glorified. And because of God's unfading love, our faith moves from the glory of the cross to the glory of the empty tomb.

“Father, glorify your Name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
 John 12:28
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Help me to realize that when I cannot find you, O God, it is often because I have sought you in the fading glory of the world. Thank you for your undying presence in the selfless love of a Redeemer, even Jesus Christ my Lord.
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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