“Nor did we seek glory from men, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ”.
1 Thess 2:6 RSV
Some people always seem to elbow their way to the front. If they aren’t conspicuous by their achievements, dignity or physical stature, they manage to remind everyone who will listen that they are someone great or important. They are skilled at drawing attention to themselves. Some dress to stand out. Others talk to steer conversations around to themselves. Yet others “name-drop” (“Last week I was chatting to the President”). And some portray themselves as more learned than they really are by claiming the title “Doctor”.
Paul and his fellow-preachers in Thessalonica were not glory-hunters. “Few men in history have been so God-conscious as Paul. ‘God-intoxicated’ is not too strong a description. He passionately believed he had been converted by God, called by God, entrusted with the gospel by God, was daily being tested by God, and must live a life worthy of God. God to Paul was God. This is not surprising, for he was reared in a strict Jewish home where the great monotheistic (belief in only one God) doctrine was as much a part of life as the air its members breathed. His heritage was one of reverence. The awe of the Eternal was in his heart, and he carried it into his new life in Christ” (J.W. Clarke, The Interpreter’s Bible, Vol 11, p271).
We too need to be so full of Christ and of God the Father that we seek only his glory and not our own. We need to be consciously aware of any tendency to direct praise or glory to any human person, however significant he or she may be.
Lord, all honour and glory be to you alone.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
Lord, today we celebrate the beginning of advent, the season when we remember the coming of Christ. Thank you that you are always coming into our world, into our midst, into our lives, into your church with power, with grace and truth. Come this advent season. In Christ. AMEN