Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I am fascinated by the British royal family. I don’t know why; it’s just something that has always been in my make-up. Also my mother’s subscription to People magazine has helped over the years. I woke up early to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot two years ago and I was glued to my phone for the better part of the month of July this year-that is, until Wills and Kate brought Prince George out to show him off to the world. I was as excited about their new arrival as any proud auntie. Today as little George is christened, I’ll be thinking about and praying for that sweet family (and watching for the family photos!)
Part of the fascination with the royal family, I think, is that they rarely talk to the press. Queen Elizabeth has never given an interview and she never will. Unlike so many of our American celebrities who leave nothing-and I do mean nothing-to the imagination, the royal family is composed, discreet, and modest in front of the camera. And behind closed doors? Your guess is as good as mine.
But why are the members of the royal family any different from you or me? It comes down to this: their blood. The offspring of Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip are automatically royal because they are of a royal bloodline. Others, like Kate Middleton, are styled “Her Royal Highness” and “Duchess of Cambridge” because they marry into the family. But the only people who will ever hold the title “King” “Queen” “Prince” or “Princess” in their own right are those with blood ties to the throne.
The members of the royal family live a life of privilege. We see them riding in carriages, perfecting their royal wave as they greet the masses, accepting flowers from children and having their picture made. They wear the finest clothes, they eat the best food. Why? Because of a lucky combination of DNA. They didn’t work their way into the royal family. It’s exclusive. There is nothing anyone can do to earn their way into the Sovereign’s bloodline.
However, the members of the royal family also live a life of service. The Queen, Prince Philip, and many other members of the family carry out hundreds upon hundreds of engagements each year, sometimes three or four in a day. She’s been serving the people of the United Kingdom for 61 years. Pope Benedict retired a few months back at the age of 85. The Queen is 87 and shows no sign of slowing down. She takes very seriously her commitment to the throne and to the people of the UK.
While the members of the royal family will never struggle financially or want for anything in life, they bear a heavy weight of responsibility. As a part of the family, they carry out engagements on behalf of the Queen and are under constant scrutiny from the press. They have ownership and are responsible for carrying on the good name their Granny the Queen, and the Sovereigns before her, have built with the people. Queen Elizabeth is their Queen but she is also their grandmother, so they carry out their duties out of respect but also out of love.
It’s the same way with God and us. Through no effort of our own-but because of the blood of Jesus Christ-we are members of a Royal Family. It is a life of privilege, maybe not the earthly kind, but privilege nonetheless. We bear His name and likeness, and it is up to us to be his ambassadors to the world. We carry out His commands out of duty and respect because He is our King but also out of love because He is our Father.
Our royal bloodline ought to make us aware of how we conduct ourselves. You don’t ever see Queen Elizabeth acting in a manner contrary to what you expect of a Queen. So it should be with us. As God’s children and royal heirs of His kingdom, we are expected to interact with others in a way that reflects where we came from. We are conscious of how we treat the world because we love our Father and want our actions to reflect well upon Him, the same way the actions of the Queen’s family reflect back upon her.
When a member of the royal family makes a mistake, the Queen may be upset, and there might be consequences, but at the end of the day they are her family. She loves them. She’s not going to kick them out of the family because they screwed up. So it is with God. Because we are His children, He gives us grace even when we tarnish the family name. Why? It all comes down to blood. Not ours: the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the reason we have a share in the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the reason we are all sons and daughters of the King. He is the reason we cannot be excommunicated from this royal family. Jesus is the heir, and He has made a way for us to share in His inheritance.