“Discover your passions and desires and then pursue them despite any opposition,” is a common message in our current culture. Christianity does indeed validate the importance of our desires – a cursory read of the lamentation psalms makes that clear. However, Christianity is not as interested in answering the question, “Who am I?” as it is in answering the question, “Whose am I?”
In Jesus’ final discourse to his disciples, he explains the role of the Holy Spirit. He says, “The Holy Spirit will bring glory to me, by taking from me and making it known to you (John 16:14 [my translation]).” To glorify something or someone means to both give it weight and value as well as make known its brilliance and beauty.
There is an interesting phenomenon that takes place within the persons of the Trinity. The Father glorifies the Son (8:54), the Son glorifies the Father (14:13), and the Spirit glorifies the Son (16:14). The persons of the Trinity seem to always be glorifying one another. Jesus said, “Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him (7:18).” Think of all the grandstanding and one-upping in the world and the turmoil it causes. The very things we desire in our relationships, the very things we long for in the geo-political climate, the very things people mean when they say, “pray for peace,” exist and always have existed in the persons and the unity of the Trinity.
But, there is more. Christ offers, through the Holy Spirit, something inexplicably marvelous. He prays for his followers, saying, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one… (17:22)” Wow, Christ gives us his glory! John Calvin said, “Christ kept nothing for himself alone but rather was rich in order to enrich his believers. Our happiness lies in having the image of God restored and reformed in us…”
The Holy Spirit bonds us to the relationship that exists in the one, eternal Trinity. The Holy Spirit brings glory to the Son by reflecting his glory in Christ’s followers. The New City Catechism states that our only hope in life and death is that we are not our own but belong to God. Can there be anything more glorious or worthy of our praise?
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