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The King of Queens

August 1, 2013

Last week a young child was born who is destined to be a future King of England.  His name is George and, barring some exceptional event, he will one day be a king.  His parents, and a lot of others, are now committed to training little George for his future role.  For most Americans the idea that from the moment of birth you can know exactly what you will be as an adult seems a bit odd.  We have no clue as to whether or not, on any given day, a future President will be born.

A few days later, a friend from church shared with the rest of us that another child was born.  This baby was Jeff’s first grandchild and his name is Luke.  Luke’s future is not quite as clear as George’s.  While I suppose anything is possible it seems highly doubtful that Luke is going to be a king someday.  Luke’s family has a different task.  He needs to be educated and guided to find a path in a world that offers near endless possibilities, many good, others bad.

There was a time when people believed that, in some way, those of “royal blood” were different and superior to others; that George was inherently superior to Luke.  Those days are gone.  I have little doubt that both sets of parents consider their little boy to be the most amazing baby ever but they both know they are speaking from hearts biased with love.

There could be many lessons we learn in the stories of George and Luke.  Perhaps we’d want to say that God loves them both equally.  Perhaps we’d want to say that both need to know Jesus.  Perhaps we’d want to talk about the unfair economic advantages that George will have.  Perhaps we’d emphasize the freedom to be what he wants to be that Luke has.

I’ve never met a king but I was once intimidated by a queen, or rather a portrait of a queen.  Several years ago I had an occasion to visit the British High Commissioner, the Commonwealth equivalent of an ambassador, in Sri Lanka.  As I sat in his office waiting for him I took note of how the entire setting was designed to intimidate.

The desk he sat at was on a raised platform that left him about a foot higher than me as I sat, so I was looking up at him.  Behind him was a life-sized portrait of Queen Elizabeth.  She was not smiling.  While I had the impression she was looking right at me I also had the impression she wasn’t too happy with what she saw.  Other portraits were all around me, presumably former kings or something.  Some of those guys were even holding swords or lances.  None seemed any more happy I was there than the queen.

If the whole deal was designed to intimidate I have to say it was working.  I had a rather routine request to make of the High Commissioner but I was nervous.  As I organized my thoughts the phrase “beam me up, Scottie” passed through my mind.  But then another thought hit me.  As a Christian, I am an ambassador of the King of the Queen of England.

In an instant my attitude shifted.  I actually had to fight the desire to share that little sermonette with the High Commissioner but I suspected it would not be a good idea.  If you think that I should be ashamed that I passed up that “witness opportunity” I must confess I was not and am not.  I am not a big fan of shoehorning in Jesus references into unrelated conversations.  You know what I mean, right?  Those “It’s great you are happy the Tar Heels won but the real reason for joy is that Jesus died for our sins.” kind of thing.

The lesson for me is that, while it is likely that George is going to be a king someday and Luke’s future is not so clear, they have one thing in common.  They have an equal opportunity to be an ambassador of the King of kings and queens and all creation.  May God give each of their parents the desire and wisdom to share with these little boys that opportunity.


From → Christianity

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