Kings Usually Use the Front Door
“Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.” These words from majestic Psalm 24 fill our hearts and minds with the visions of our Jewish ancestors who imagined the Jerusalem temple being filled with the glory of God as they went up to worship there. We hear beautiful music, see processions of people, feel the rejoicing of the crowd, sense the Divine Presence.
As we pray this Psalm next to Luke’s Annunciation account, we are struck by the contrast. Here there is no music or rejoicing crowds; rather here we find quiet, solitude, together with fear and questioning. Yet, here too, is the Divine Presence. And despite the contrast, we can almost hear the angel pleading with Mary, “Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.” “Say, yes, Mary, so that the Savior can appear through your flesh, in your womb.”
What are we do make of the contrast? The Lord enters his “temple,” yes, but how unexpected! How unimagined is this entrance! What are we to make of this entrance? The quiet awe that surrounds this entrance reveals to us the humility of God.
The place that marks the site of Jesus’ birth in the Holy Land lies within the confines of a church building. To enter the church one passes through a door with a low lintel; all but the smallest need to bow down to enter. The message is obvious: one only approaches the place of God’s humility, by becoming humble.
Kings usually use the front door. Our king and Savior enters his temple, our world, in an unusual way. Looking for the Lord in these days? The message is obvious: one only finds this King by bending low. Where are we being invited to humility today? Where do we need to cry out for a Savior? Where are we being invited to let go of our inflated sense of self-importance? Where do we need greater trust? There we will find him. “Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.”
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