How to Properly Glorify God

Advent 4 Tuesday

Luke 2:14

“Glory to God in the highest.”

We must not understand this to refer only to what we are to do. It also indicates that this will happen from this time forward because this Savior is born: We will give God his praise and glory. The angels mean to say: “It was different before this child was born. At that time, the world was nothing but blasphemy and idolatry.” For whatever is outside of Christ and without him is nothing but blasphemy, no matter how glorious and great it may be. Yet if God is to be God, that is, if he is to be considered to be God and if he is to be glorified as such, it must happen through this child alone. For only there can we learn and be certain that God is a gracious, merciful, kind God, because he does not spare his only
begotten Son, but had him become man. This unspeakable, great benefit then urges and drives hearts to open up in true love, trust, and hope toward God and praise and thank him for this benefit. “Such fruit,” the angels say, “will follow, and it now begins to follow, that God is rightly honored in the highest.” Not by outward works because they cannot ascend into heaven, but with the heart that rises up from the earth to the highest to such a gracious God and Father with thanksgiving and wholehearted confidence. Now, where the child Jesus is not recognized, it is impossible to honor God properly…Because this Light shines in the world, the people will no longer set up their holiness or righteousness,
their father or mother, their gold or possessions as idols. Instead, they will receive this one Savior and cling to him alone wholeheartedly. This will be the beginning of properly glorifying God, knowing him, and praising and thanking him. Adam lost this glorifying through sin in paradise. For this cursed manner clings to all of us by nature that everyone wishes to have the glory for himself. Just look at the pope and the bishops: They have plenty of money and possessions, but they do not give glory to God and promote his Word. And how could such great lords do it who sit in such great glory and power? There is no peasant who would not like to praised by the people. Now, if it happens in the insignificant things that people want to reap their own honor and praise, although those things are called refuse and garbage, how much more does it happen among those who deal with great things such as righteousness and holiness, good works, and civic decency? The devil hardly ever lets such people give glory to God; for they intend to keep that glory for themselves. Mankind is poisoned by such ambition ever since the devil caused Adam and Eve to want to be like God. This ambition still clings to us. Therefore, when God grants ability, money, possessions, power; when he gives honor to a woman; when
he gives a nice belt or a pretty dress to a maidservant, then people want to be praised. But since this Light, the child Jesus, shines in the world, the angels sing that God has come to his glory. For all those who receive this child will say:
“My righteousness, my holiness, my wisdom, ability, money, power are all nothing. But the child Jesus is everything.” This is how God comes to his honor that he alone is our strength, courage, joy, our gold and money, and we wholeheartedly place on him alone all our confidence, trust, courage, and joy.

St. Louis ed., 13.1:70-73.

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