So Why Glorious Ruin?

Amy and I first heard the phrase ‘Glorious Ruin(s)’ on YWAM DTS in Budapest at a lecture on the character of God (Bonny Thiesen). It was more of a side note in the weeks teaching but it made me stop and think. As I thought deeper about it, the world really is a glorious ruin, a world full of ruined and broken people and things, but yet Glory shines through the ruins.  This teaching really spoke to me about the way I view the world and and of the original intention and purpose the earth was created for….

We got to explore this more during our week of lectures with Don Stephens on Kingdom, Worldview and Glory.

The World is a Glorious Ruin!

There is so much beauty in this world but there is something so broken.

The Ruin or the Brokenness

There is so much brokenness in the world. You don’t need anyone to point out this fact. There are so many hurting and broken people asking what is wrong with the world? This ruin is seen everyday in the news  and this question is constantly  reflected  through the media. In songs lyrics and movies stories.

St. Andrews Cathedral Ruins, Scotland

St. Andrews Cathedral Ruins, Scotland

The Glorious!

Ruins represent something greater.  They point to a time when they were whole. I believe that you can see God’s glory, beauty and love through the entire creation.

What is Glory? It can be used in so many different ways as renown, magnificence or even beauty. I have always read and sung about the glory of God, but I have never really thought about what it is. The word was used a lot in churches as I was growing up and I don’t really remember having any teaching on the subject or any explanation to help me understand this popular, even overused word. Don brought some amazing teaching on Glory and his definition is that glory is the visible reflection of God’s invisible character. So God’s invisible fingerprint is on all of His creation. We don’t see God, but He makes himself visible all the time through everything. Gods glory can be seen in everything! His glory is in people, nature, stories, music, film, media, creativity, relationships and much more.

What is the Purpose of Life? Having this understanding of Glory really opens up our understanding of our purpose in life. Everything created has a purpose.  Think of a chair, a laptop, a honey bee- they have all been created with a purpose in mind.  It is the same with us, we are created with a purpose and Isaiah 43:6b-7 shows us this:

“Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

God created us for His Glory! Roman 11:36 shows us this as well:

“For everything comes from him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever! Amen.”

God created us for His glory and to bring glory to Him and that is why we love glorious things too!  We love nature that has been unspoiled by pollution, we get excited when stories end ‘happy ever after’, and we can’t get enough of music that touches our soul and moves us.  We hold up stories of human creativity and ingenuity because they reflect God’s glory!

The sound of the crickets slowed down and synced (not synthesizer)

Johann Strauss II – The Blue Danube Waltz Music to Inspire the Soul

The best expression we have of God’s glory is Jesus. He is the perfect reflection of God’s Glory. Through His life, how He interacted with people, the way he dealt with the material world and even in his death. He brought glory to God in everything He did, said and thought.


The Kingdom of God! With this understanding of Glory the Kingdom of God takes on a who new light.   It touches every part of life, from purpose and design to community, science, music, art, education, justice, government, hope and personal wholeness. Nothing is left out, because everything matters to God! The Kingdom of God is a story in itself, and we all have a part in the story. It is a story of love, sin, mistakes, pain, joy, sacrifice, and redemption. It is a battle between good and evil. We know that good will prevail in the end, and there will be a happily ever after that truly will last forever and the ruins will be rebuilt and redeemed to their former glory.
keys of the kingdom of heaven