Monday, May 8, 2023

Coronation Thoughts

What a spectacle the coronation of King Charles III was! And while I'm all about our founders throwing off aristocracy at every turn I'll also gladly get up at the crack of dawn to see what everyone is wearing and if anyone drops any of the crown jewels. 

One thing I noticed while wondering if Anne wore that huge feather just to block Harry's view was the pull of the thing. By pull I mean a certain draw, attraction of having a King. While being rid of a monarchy is something we're most proud of as Americans we still can't help watching on in amazement and maybe even cheering the thing ourselves.  And forget this particular king and queen, future queen Princess Kate embodied all that is regal with the perfect combination of beauty and dignity. 

This tug I felt reminded me of the C.S. Lewis quote from Mere Christianity. He's writing of our wanting something "acutely, something that cannot be had in this world" which could come in the form of any number of things. Later in the same passage he says: 

Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing...I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death. 

In Exodus 20:4-6 God warns about not having any other gods before him or making idols but then adds a promise, "I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands."

Here's the note from the NIV Study Bible (those who love me) In the language of the Ancient Near East the "love" owed to a great king was a term for total allegiance and implicit trust expressing itself in obedient service. 

Here in America how much of the concept of this kind of love has been lost? Firstly, because we owe blind allegience to no one and secondly because we esteem our individual selves above all else. How much more sense would the love and obedience we owe to God make to those living under a monarchy? How much clearer would the idea be to them than to we Americans who rejoice in throwing off authority of all kinds? 

I’m not saying we want that only that a particular concept is hard for our culture to grasp. 

People in the past who lived under good kings may well have had the best understanding of the concept. Imagine a king who you revered and trusted so much, who you knew without a shadow of a doubt to be good through and through, incapable of betrayal or deceit. A king who you would have no fear of obeying at once and trusting completely would be worth following. 

There is such a KING.

So if you watched the coronation and reveled in the gold coaches and priceless gems, celestial architecture and heavenly music while you drank your coffee (thanks, Boston Tea Party!) you aren't alone. 

The good news is that we have a king. We have the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And anything we've seen that stirred the soul is a whisper of the reality of his kingdom where our true citizenry lies. 

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