Who is this King of Glory?

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by Hannah Kallio

Q_Hannah

When I read the Bible, I look for questions more than answers. I’m fascinated by how Jesus often answers questions with another question, not to be evasive, but to show respect for the intellect of his questioners and take the conversation deeper. There’s one question in the Bible that keeps drawing me back, tugging at me like a tide. It’s not that I don’t know the answer. It’s more that the little I know is just enough to whet my appetite for more.

Who is this king of glory?

I didn’t grow up going to Sunday school, but I’ve taught enough Sunday school classes to know that when you don’t know the answer, you say “Jesus.” And in this case, the obvious answer is Jesus. He is the king of glory. It’s tempting to think there’s not much mystery here, since the text that poses the question answers it without missing a beat.

“Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.” (Psalm 24:8)

This question celebrates the now-and-not-yet of God’s kingdom better than any statement I could make. God is the king of glory, and yet I experience the reality of God’s kingdom only in glimpes. God’s glory is the stuff all of life is steeped in and it’s beyond our grasp. God’s kingdom is here and it’s coming closer. It’s now and not yet.

As I live with this tension, this question has given birth to many other questions.

How do I experience God as king?
How is God’s kingship different from that of the other “kings” that compete for my attention?
How can I make room for God’s glory (weight, substance) to reign in my life?
How has God been “strong and migthy” on my behalf?
How is this king I’m worshiping today different from the version of God that I worshiped last year?

This last question brought me face to face with a sobering truth: this king isn’t the same king I first called out to as a 10-year-old. God hasn’t changed, but my capacity to percieve who God always was has grown. As God replaces more and more of the lies I believed with truth, I see more of who God has always been. I’m closer to worshiping the one true king than I was when I started.

My view of God can also become skewed over time. Like last year, when our family experienced a series of painful losses. One of the casualties was my spacious, sovereign view of our king. As I shriveled up, I let my understanding of God shrivel up too.

Finally a friend took my hands in hers, looked me in the eyes, and told me, “I’m afraid you’ve let your heart become disappointed with God.” I realized the problem wasn’t that God was disappointing. The problem was my shrunken perspective. This counterfeit Jesus I was carrying around was a hollow disappointment compared to vibrant reality of who God is.

So now, I keep this question close. It convicts me when I let my view of God get distorted, challenges me to cling to the truth of who God is, and shows me how my vision has grown.

Asking “Who is this king of glory?” keeps the divine tension of life vivid for me. It awakens my hunger for more glory, more of this person who was the king of glory, is the king of glory, will be the king of glory.

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hannahI’m an Israeli who’s at home in France, Italy, and Minnesota. A homemaker who had it all, gave it all away, and lived out of a backpack. I love one man, 5 kids, and a crazy story God is writing in our lives even more than palm trees, ancient ruins, and deepest dark chocolate. I write, coach, speak, sing and create my guts out hannahkallio.org

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