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FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN DOWNTOWN WILMINGTON NC
  • Writer's pictureDr. Jim Baldwin

Hunkered Down Homilies - "Glory"

Two people watching an eclipse.

ENan and I took off on a road trip last week to Nashville, Tennessee.  We have never walked the streets lined with honky-tonks together, so we packed the cowboy hats and boots and headed west.  We heard a lot of music while we were in Nashville (most of it was country, but also some jazz and rock-and-roll.)  We ate some Hattie Bs famous hot chicken and walked through some beautiful parks.


The trip was upstaged, however, by a cosmic event that was bigger than the Grand Ole Opry.  A full solar eclipse was visible throughout much of the central part of the US while we were in Nashville.  Although Nashville was not in the path of total eclipse, the sun was 90% blocked by the moon in the early afternoon.  Fortunately, we prepared for this solar phenomenon and took our ISO-approved glasses from the last eclipse.  We were aware of the warnings about looking directly at the sun, even though it seemed almost totally obscured, so we were pretty careful to only look through the glasses.  And aren’t they stylish?


I was reminded of the Old Testament friend of God named Moses.  Moses and God were on pretty good speaking terms when Moses finally made a bold request, “Now, show me your glory!”  (Exodus 33:18)  Moses had been near the presence of God many times, but their interactions were hidden by a pillar of cloud or fire.  Moses wanted to look directly into the face of God.  But God said, “You cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live.”  (Exodus 33:20) The glory of God was more powerful than the sun, and to see Him in all his glory would burn more than a retina.  It was more than a human soul could take.


And yet, The Gospel of John proclaims of Jesus, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:14)  Jesus says of himself, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.”  Paul wrote, “The Son is the image of the invisible God…” (Colossians 1:15)  How great is God’s love for us, that He would place His glory in a human form so that when we look Him in the face, we will not die, but live forever?


Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton may be big stars, but Jesus is the Son!


-Dr. Jim Baldwin




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