Today is the end of the 12 days of Christmas.  It is Epiphany and we welcome the Wise Men.  More importantly we celebrate the Glory of God shining in the face of Jesus.  We can boil God’s glory down to His love for us and saving us.  I have been studying a little piece written a year after I was born by Ma -rtin Franzmann that seemed at first so self evident but it is really quite a stunning document.  Franzmann starts out his study called “Christ the Hope of Glory” with these words….

AND the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work. . and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory forever and ever.” 2 Tim. 4: 18.

These words of St. Paul, even though individual in form and a personal confession of the Apostle, contain practically all the characteristics of the eschatological (end times) hope of the Church of Jesus Christ. For that hope is (1) a Christ-centered hope; it is (2) a hope that looks for a divine act of deliverance; it is (3) a hope for a total consummation; it is (4) a “practical” hope; and (5) it is doxological (speaking God’s glory). These words are the Church’s echo and answer to the words of Him who builds His Church and has promised: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The first three are interesting but I want to focus on number 4.  We have a practical hope.  It gives us a practical impetus to do mission work.  We have been freed to tell the Good news and proclaim God’s Glory.  W share in that Glory when we forget ourselves and serve God and the neighbor.  Because we have been given everything we need for life in this world and life in the world to come we are free to give ourselves away.  God has with Christ, His glory, given us all things as well.