Psalm 106: 20
20 They exchanged the glory of God
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
I love the British Sign Language (BSL) sign for ‘glory’ which involves gently wiggling fingers and a lifted expression on the face. BSL is a ‘positional language’ so where and how you place or move a sign affects its meaning. The sign ‘glory’ is particularly lovely when combined with the criss crossing arms of the sign ‘change’ - for example when singing and signing the line ‘changed from glory into glory’ in the song ‘Love Divine’. The closed fists open into fingers doing the physical equivalent of a shimmer as your arms change places and your face lifts.
Shekinah glory - the glory of God dwelling within and among us (Shekinah is an English transliteration of a Hebrew word for dwelling) - needs more than just words to express it. It needs our whole bodies.
Why then do we so often settle for an imitation of glory? We exchange something that should thrill our souls for something that temporarily pleases us.
We shouldn’t exchange our lives for anything but the real thing.
When my eyes are drawn by an imitation of you;
When I am tempted to worship at the altar of youth,
or wealth, or fame, or popularity;
When I take good things, like family, or work, or happiness
and mistake them for you,
Let me feel the unmistakable presence of your glory
so I may know what is real,
and worship you alone.