Last week, several friends gathered around our long table to celebrate a milestone birthday of our dear friend. We attended to every detail – from the invitations to the menu to the table scape and even the background music – just to let her know how much we love and value her. What began as a brunch soon extended well past lunch into the mid-afternoon. We feasted on food, spoke blessings over our friend, and swapped stories about events from our past, hopes for the future, and even concerns for today. And as I breathed in the joy of that moment, I couldn’t help but see its foreshadowing of a much greater banquet to come – the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
In Revelation 19:6-9, the Apostle John records a vision of a someday scene. “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted to her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure’ – for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who come to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God.’”
We find out elsewhere in Scripture that the Lamb referenced in Revelation 19 is Jesus Christ (see John 1:29). And all who trust in Him as our Lord and Savior are His Bride. (See Ephesians 5:24-27 and 2 Corinthians 11:2). And, as we await His return, (which He describes prophetically in John 14:1-6) every dinner party and celebration, like the one for our friend, serve as beautiful glimpses of God’s glory. Glimpse is defined as seeing something or someone for a very short time or only partly. Our celebrations are partial sightings of the glory God has yet to reveal, and we can hold those glimpses in our hearts with hope that someday we will see in full. What an awesome sight that will be!
Celebrations are just one of many ways we can catch glimpses of God’s glory. Another friend wrote me today to say she discovered a poem about Jesus and the cross in her mom’s wallet. That find ministered to her heart in multiple ways. She immediately felt a closeness to her mom, who recently passed and whom my friend has missed deeply. And, as my friend also is navigating the serious illness of her husband, that poem brought her words of assurance from the God of all comfort who not only comforts us now, but promises one day to wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things (will have) passed away. (Rev. 21:4) God invited my friend to catch a glimpse of His glory.
And He invites us to glimpse His glory, too. When we see the beautiful sunrise, we glimpse the coming glory when the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. (Rev. 21:23) When we witness the birth of a baby, we glimpse the glory
of God in this tiny, newborn image-bearer. Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. (Genesis 1:26) And even as we marvel at that tiny miracle of life, what peace there is in realizing that for now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
God’s invitations to glimpse His glory are innumerable. What are some ways you have caught glimpses? Let them be cause to celebrate His goodness now and to look toward the full brilliance yet to come.
— Linda R. Maynard © November 2023