This phrase is repeated over and over in the reading from the Psalms this week – Who is the King of Glory? The readings this week focus on the changing from the old law, handed down from God to Moses for the people, to the New Law, sent down from God through Jesus for the people. Prior to the arrival of Jesus, the people of God were intended to follow the precepts of the old covenant. And even with scholars and interpretations of the law, they had failed miserably. They found themselves first in divided kingdoms and then in bondage in a foreign land. By the time we get to the Old Testament reading from Malachi they are depressed, and without spiritual guidance. Even their priestly tribe has begun to doubt. They are without hope.
But hope appears in the Gospel reading from Luke. Mary and Joseph follow the old law and present Jesus at the temple for the appropriate ritual for a young Jewish boy. There Jesus is recognized, as an infant or small child, by two spiritual leaders as the King of Glory. They don’t ask the question they proclaim the answer. Here is the Messiah. The hope of the people lay in the coming of a new Law, a Messiah that would embody the old law and create a new covenant. And it is not all good news, the righteous man Simeon shares that in the end Mary will endure hardship, and since we know how that part of the story goes we can empathize. The New Testament reading from Hebrews explains how Jesus came for the people, not for God, not for the angels, but for the people themselves.
And as one of those people I would ask – are we living so that others recognize us as a child of God, even when they don’t know us all that well. Simeon saw Jesus with Mary and Joseph and knew. Do people see that in you? In me? In us?