|Docents of Glory|
Rightfully Ours! (2)
“Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”
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I have a friend, Jim Greeley, who volunteers as a docent at the Baltimore Museum of Art. He studies the works of art there and tries his best to familiarize himself with the artists and their oeuvre so that he can help visitors to the museum better appreciate the collection. In a certain way the Apostle Paul was also a docent. He felt it was his responsibility to point out the evidence of God’s goodness, favor, and glory in the creation and surrounding culture. You can bet those pagan Lycaonians weren’t much thinking about the goodness of God as they slaved away under the hot sun, pled with their pagan deities (harsh and fickle oppressors more than benevolent providers), and gorged themselves and made merry on the fruit of their harvests. But Paul knew the larger story and understood the truth of their pagan ways: God was in it all, calling them to see and seek and serve Him (cf. Acts 17:27).
In a similar way, we have all been called to be “docents of glory.” God is declaring His glory in all kinds of created things (Ps. 19:1-4; Ps. 68:18), and we who see His hand in all of these have the high calling of discovering and declaring the glory of God the people of our generation (Prov. 25:1, 2). Consider, for example, the situation to which Paul addressed himself. The wonder of crop growth – how a seed becomes a plant that produces many more seeds; the regularity of the seasons; the intricacy and systematic nature of work, together with the implements that make it possible; the coordination of human activities; the glories of food and drink – taste, texture, nutrition, enjoyment, growth. All these aspects of Lycaonian culture revealed the goodness, lovingkindness, faithfulness, and grace of God. Paul could see this, and he did not hesitate to inform his pagan audience that they were gorging themselves on divine goodness, and ought to show proper appreciation (Rom. 1:18-21). From the goodness of God in creation it was only a small step for Paul to show how God, in His infinite goodness and love, had provided a Savior for lost pagans like the Lycaonians. This is what docents of glory do. They point out the gifts and truths of God which He has deposited in the creation and culture of their day, and call all who benefit from those gifts to acknowledge His goodness and receive the greater gift of His Son. The glory of God in everything around us is ours to enjoy and proclaim. Let us prepare ourselves well for this high and holy calling.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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