“Only God is great.” That was the solemn and unexpected declaration of Jean-Baptiste Massillon as he began his sermon at the funeral service of King Louis XIV.
The king, who liked to be referred to as Louis the Great, had ruled France from 1643-1715 with absolute power and splendor. His funeral was held in a magnificent cathedral that was lit by a single candle alongside the ornate coffin. When it was time for Massillon to speak, he reached out and extinguished the flame. Then he broke the silence with the words. “Only God is great.”
We recognize and admire some of our fellow mortals who are considered to be great thinkers, great scientists, great inventors, great achievers in every field of endeavor. In many ways they tower above all of us ordinary people, but they still have the same needs we do. They experience aches and pains. They have troubled minds and hungry hearts. They cannot stave off death nor guarantee life beyond the grave.
Only God is truly great – great enough to meet all our needs, great enough to forgive all our sins, and great enough to carry us through the dark valley of death into eternity, to be with Him forever. – Vernon Grounds
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious – Thy great name we praise. – Smith
In a world of empty superlatives, God is the greatest.
- February 1, Vol. 18, Our Daily Bread