In the beginning your Word knits constellations together with invisible string, fills coffee beans with caffeine, and gives value to human beings. It bids Gideon depart from his winepress and the robin from her nest. Your Word commissions kings and guarantees victories, but the rejection of it results in silence.
“’Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, ‘when I shall send a famine on the land – not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord’” (Amos 8.11).
Initially, your glory keeps Moses peeking from behind a rock. It guides Israelite exiles as a fire and cloud and then fills the Temple of Solomon, ceiling to ground. Your glory evidences your presence, but disregard for it results in absence.
“Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the [Temple],…And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city…” (Ezekiel 10.18; 11.23)
For centuries Israel gradually withers away in the scarcity of divine revelation. Peace and security diminish as all spheres of society fissure. Enemy nations arrive and tyrannize like vultures, ravaging everything and everyone.
Then, a morsel from heaven comes on the tongue of the angel Gabriel as he speaks to Zechariah, a priest ministering in the Temple. After all the silence, all the absence, Your Word is heard and your glory made known. Once the shock subsides, Zechariah finds his voice to declare, “I will receive your Word.” [Luke 1.69]
Gabriel then offers a morsel with Mary. As he speaks, the young girl chews on Old Testament prophecies and this revolutionary revelation. She settles into a posture of confident humility as one highly-favored as she responds, “I will receive your Word. [Luke 1.26-35]
You offer Joseph the sustenance of your Word as he sleeps and his soul and body rest from grappling with the indignity of his predicament and enormity of its implications. He goes to bed deliberating divorce, yet awakes to answer, “I will receive your Word.”[Matthew 1.18-25]
Months later a group of shepherds gather their flocks in a pasture. As daylight retreats and the fire dies, an angel appears from the skies. Your glory shines all around them, flooding the field with your goodness and magnificence. Your glory, the long-vanished evidence of your presence, now returns to earth and awe-struck shepherds respond, “We will receive your Word.” [Luke 2.8-20]
Just think: the famine becomes a feast as the Word Himself becomes flesh; the drought becomes a flood as He heals, preaches, forgives, dies, and rises. Indeed, “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 40.5). For this and more I must shout “Joy to the world!” The Word and glory of God is come! “Let earth receive her King.” Let all creation and every creature receive Him! Amen.