They will see the glory of the Lord,Isaiah 35:2c
the splendor of our God.
First Witnesses of the Glory of the Lord
About seven hundred years after the prophecy of Isaiah, the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to the promised Messiah in Bethlehem under the protection of St. Joseph. Outside of the Holy Family, the first Israelites to “see the glory of the Lord” were the humble shepherds. As the angel of the Lord descended upon them in the field at night, “the glory of the Lord shone around them” (Luke 2:9). A multitude of the heavenly host praised God for the birth of the infant king:
“Glory to God in the highestLuke 2:14
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Matthew narrates the incredible journey of the eastern magi to worship the “newborn king of the Jews” by following a star (Matthew 2:1-12). At the presentation of Jesus in the Jerusalem Temple, the righteous Simeon and the prophetess Anna rejoiced to lay eyes on their Savior—“a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel” (Luke 2:32). Thus, at Christ’s first coming, both Jews and Gentiles witnessed “the glory of the Lord” and “the splendor of our God,” fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah.
The Splendor of Christ in Israel
For thirty hidden years at Nazareth, Mary and Joseph pondered the glory of the Lord in silence. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah also lived in wonder while raising their saintly children, Jesus and John. Then, with John’s baptism of Jesus in the Jordan and Christ’s first miracle at the wedding feast at Cana, the glory of the Lord became public. Healings, miracles, signs and wonders, the Transfiguration—but above all, the holy life and preaching of the Word made flesh showed forth the splendor of our God.
Face to Face
Who shall see the glory of the Lord? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reveals the secret to beatitude:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.Matthew 5:8 (RSV)
The blessed protomartyr, St. Stephen, saw “the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).
At the second coming of the Lord, when all is consummated, the saints “will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4).
5 Replies to “Isaiah 35, Day 4”
The splendor of our God,
Or the glory of the Lord:
Which would I prefer to see?
I’d be happy with a glimpse of glory,
Or a sneak peek at God’s splendor.
Such small revelations preview
God’s gracious, greatest story.
When I am at the end of my years,
May I enter fully into the Book of Life.
May my eyes see the Author of Life.
and hear a voice say, no more tears.
Delightful and sweet! May the splendor and glory of the Lord envelop you!
I’m thinking about “splendor” as in the song, “Love is a many splendored thing.” Love is layered with many meanings from “I love pizza” to “I love you dearly.” Or “love your enemies.” I’ll never peel away the depth of God’s love revealed in a dark glass now. Yet I bow before each glimpse of God-ness I receive.
Lord, give me an open heart to receive grace.
They will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
God is Love—many splendored and tri-personal. Love is diversity, unity, symmetry—of flowers and galaxies, snails and shells. Love is an epiphany in a manger!