Well, today, the tents and many of the other temporary structures built for the Super Bowl started to come down; and the news media told us this morning that the downtown streets that have been closed for several weeks would be back to normal and re-opened for traffic by Wednesday. It seems hard to believe that 5 years of planning and all the hype for the Super Bowl could all come screeching to a halt so quickly. But it was a grand party for several weeks or so.
More people attended downtown activities than any other Super Bowl in history. The weather was terrific, visitors to our town were blown away by Hoosier Hospitality and the press, even those east coast people such as NBC, were singing the virtues of this city. There is even some talk of Indy hosting the event every 7 to 10 years; getting in on the regular rotation of Super Bowl cities that have hosted great events. In short, and you can tell by the sense of pride in my writing, we were in our glory.
That’s a phrase that we hear from time to time about people. Something like, “He was in his glory” when someone receives an award and bounds up to the stage to receive it. We all clap and recognize his or her achievement and bestow accolades on the honored party. And if you have ever been the recipient of an award, then you know what it feels like to be “in your glory.” You are proud, knowing that you have worked hard and that the work you have done has been recognized, either by a group of your peers or by others. Either way, it is a powerful moment.
And by context, we kind of understand what we think that means, but quite honestly, the word “glory” is a special word. It is from the Hebrew and it means, “the best part revealed.” In the Greek, the word is pronounced “doxa” and is where we get terms like “doxology” from – you know, that part in the service when we sing praises to God.
So what about the events here in Indianapolis? Well, the reason that we were in our glory is that the best parts of Indy were revealed – the people, the preparation, the kindness, the compassion and all the other things that bring out the best in mankind. It’s the same with glory when it refers to our relationship with God. Because we were made in God’s image – that is, we are God’s finest creation. So, we are in our glory when we are on our best behavior and are living our lives in a manner honoring to God. And when we live our best lives, we also glorify God. In other words, the greatest attributes of God are manifest when we honor Him and do things in accordance with His will for our lives. God had and still has the best things in mind for us. So when we act in a way that glorifies God, we can be sure that God is pleased.
The verse for this evening is from Paul, in his letter to the Romans. Paul admonishes his audience, in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Translated another way, we have all done things that are not honoring to God and therefore, God’s finest creations can’t fully represent God in this world. Because we were created to do so much more than most of us do.
So my encouragement this evening is to remind you that God created us to be his finest handiwork and we are all capable of doing so much more than we do to glorify God. My prayer is that we will all take that responsibility more seriously and that we will live our lives in such a way as to bring glory to the Father; and to His Son, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace……