Glory to God in the highest . . .
Praise and thanksgiving and honor and magnificence and splendor . . .
We like the glory parts of the story and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I want to end this Christmas run on it because it is part of the story.
I've been in a mood this season and so I've been a little focused on the less than pleasant parts of the story. It's easy to do, particularly when you feel like the world keeps taking a turn for the worst. The cross feels very relevant to me these days.
While I definitely believe we have to remember the cross---I could never belong to a church that skipped Good Friday---it must never overshadow all the ways that the story tells us that hardship, persecution, and death are not the totality of the story.
There are the heavenly host teaching us how to praise God. There are lilies in the field that out-glory Solomon in all his glory. There are miracles and healing. The hard things exist in the middle of all this. The glory doesn't make the hardships not hard, but it points to there being more than just the hardships.
There is Resurrection.
Glory to God.