God’s Glory


We get a lot of portrayals of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In fact, when I was in the first grade, my name was pulled out of the hat at the Wednesday Night kids program and I got to play Mary in the Christmas play. I still remember my one line: “I am Mary, I am glad to serve the Lord.”

And mostly, in Christmas plays that is what Mary says. Then she sits, pristine and pure and silent, staring lovingly at her baby boy. Quiet, feminine, genteel Mary. What else would Mary possibly have to say besides, “I am Mary, I am glad to serve the Lord.”

We have a Little Tikes Nativity set at our house, and this year as my daughters have played with the set, I have been introduced to a VERY different interpretation of Mary. Priscilla makes Juliet be all the men in the nativity, and she plays Mary.

“Joseph! Get the door! Wisemen, DON’T TOUCH MY BABY.” This year, at our house Mary has been fierce, and kind of bossy. And while this particular interpretation was jarring at first, I am sort of coming around to bossy Mary. Mary had a big job. She literally carried the hope of the world inside of her teenage body.

Mary carried the hope of the world, the Glory of God inside her body. Wow. That is remarkable. That is impossible, and yet here we are talking about it. Maybe that is why she is glowing in all of those cards we get?

Jesus was God’s glory incarnate, carried inside the body of Mary, born through her body into this world, him with a little tiny body that grew into an awkward teenage body and into an adult body that was hung on the cross before it had a chance to turn old. A body that was raised from the dead and then was glorified by God. That is a lot of glory in bodies.

I don’t think about bodies when I think about God’s glory. I think of sunsets and mountains and the ocean. But when God decides to break into this world, he does it through a body, a pregnant lady body carrying a teeny tiny body. Those bodies are not the bodies the world tells us are most important in this word.

I think maybe later, when the Bible tells us that we are now the body of Christ, we might remember a little bit of that glory. Our bodies make up the body of Christ. God inhabits us in our bodies mind and spirit. God inhabits us. In our bodies. I don’t treat my body like God glorifies it. I don’t look at others like the glory of God resides in them. But I want to, because God does.