The Trinity is a mutual admiration and adoration society of shared glory. In John 1, the apostle John carries us back before time began. In John 17, Jesus is our time traveling Guide. In His prayer, He transports us to that infinite stretch before time so we can sense the unbounded esteem the Trinity shares. Five times in the first five verses, Jesus speaks of “glory” (doxa). The Greeks used this word to denote reputation and good standing. The Old Testament equivalent (kabod) has the root sense of something weighty that gives importance and honor. In relationship to God it expresses what makes God impressive. He’s a heavyweight, not a lightweight. When the Septuagint (LXX, or Greek translation of the Old Testament) uses doxa to translate kabod, it refers to the splendor of God’s majesty. Glory is the Divine nature in its invisibility or its perceptible manifestation. In the New Testament, glory embraces the Divine honor, splendor, power, and radiance, which are the essence of God’s being. To glorify God means to acknowledge or extol what is already a reality. It includes praising, valuing, and honoring God for who He is.
When I was a teenager, my friends and I had a sarcastic, mocking phrase we’d use when we thought someone was showing off. If a guy in his car peeled his tires, we’d yell, “Wow, impressive!” What we did mockingly, the Trinity does delightfully. “Wow! Impressive!”
They are like Amber and her Mom. In high school our youth group took a bus trip from the flat lands of Indiana to the mountains of Pennsylvania. Amber and her Morn had never been outside of Indiana, had never seen mountains. They were amazed. When Mom would spot another one on the horizon, she would yell, “Hey, Amber, look out the window!” After a while, every time we encountered another glorious vista, the entire bus would yell, “Hey, Amber, look out the window!” To this day, when we go on a family vacation, even though none of us is named Amber, whenever we see an amazing sight, we yell, “Hey, Amber, look out the window!” That’s how the Trinity relates. They never get over the thrill of delighting in the glory they see in one another.
So what did the Trinity do before they created? They enjoyed each other and bragged on each other. They were thrilled with each other. They shared sheer delight. The Trinity is radically other-centered, totally unselfish. “Father, you are incredible!” “Son, you are amazing!” “Spirit, you are awesome!” There never was a time when the Trinity was denied the pleasure of delighting in their mutual glory.
(Robert Kelleman, Soul Physicians, p. 66)