The story behind “O What Glory Is This?”

thoughts from Rachel

So, I’ve wondered it often. Mostly I wonder it whenever the stars are out, telling of how the far-off light of God’s Kingdom invited us into Its gates through Christ.

How the Gospel of Christ lives imbedded in a perfect storyline of astonishment. How wonder is the crux of our response to the Cross and awe measures our lives after having been resurrected with Jesus. How His Spirit enters into our own and overcomes us with the continual astonishment of Nicodemus (John 3:4). How observation can’t help but bring us to our knees when we realize that Jesus’ lordship is total and comprehensively encompassing, like atmosphere.

Sometimes, in flashes of vision, we not only fall to our knees but kiss the very dust we were made from as our faces smash ground. Ezekiel comes to mind:

“So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One  speaking. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.’ Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me” (Ez. 1:28, 2:1-2).

What’s even more astounding than “the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (chp. 1, vs. 28), the “it” that overthrows Ezekiel? It’s the way the Lord stands him back up on his feet.

Just a word would’ve been enough motivation. But in tenderness, the Almighty actually breathes words INTO Ezekiel and stands him up by entering his weak frame.

And that’s what this song is about-  singing awe back to the voice of One which speaks the Word INTO the void of dead souls, bringing them to life, and standing them on their feet. (Standing *me* on my feet. Time and marvelous time again.) Christ IN us is our Hope of Glory (Col. 1:27). And that glory dwells very much in the present, in every modicum of animate life.

Because it’s true: The Gospel without astonishment is no Gospel at all.

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:4-5).


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