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Of God, kings, and men…

As a history buff, particularly of our own US history and also of our British cousins, my wife and I have begun watching the series, The Crown. It is the story of the reign of the current English monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. It is intriguing to imagine the life of a very special family and the unique opportunities and challenges they face in their obligation to God, their country, and to each other. We are enthralled with the pomp and circumstance surrounding the celebration of special events, like royal weddings and the birth of heirs to the crown. However, it is difficult for us to imagine the responsibility of a thousand years of tradition that bears down on the hearts and minds of these people.
One episode that brings this immense responsibility and penultimate celebration onto its most elaborate platform was the coronation cerea-queen-is-crowned-g032mony of Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953. The liturgy for the coronation service dates back to the time of King Edgar in 973 AD. But in 1953, the Royal Family desired to embrace the burgeoning media technology and televise the service for all the British subjects and even the world to view. This was viewed by many quite skeptically because the coronation was not only the crowning of the new Monarch, but their anointing by God as well. During the service, a canopy is carried into the room to cover the Queen as she is anointed with the Holy oil, much like Samuel did for Saul in the Old Testament. A compromise was reached to suspend the broadcast during this most holy anointing.
Watching this episode unfold the concept of the Monarch’s connection to God and the responsibility bestowed upon them by God caused me to ponder my own relationship with God. What is my anointing as a mere man and how am I to carry out my responsibility as a follower of Jesus Christ? Peter tells us as followers of Jesus, we do have an anointed responsibility:
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9, NLT
It is important for us all to understand that just as Queens are anointed and Pope’s are ordained, with our baptism in Jesus Christ, we are appointed to become “royal priests” in God’s “holy nation.” Our mandate is stated quite simply, “show others the goodness of God,” but that responsibility is as great as any King and more difficult than we can ever do on our own.
As we kick off a New Year with renewed hopes and dreams, I encourage you to take on a new habit or two to prepare you for your priesthood. First, God has given us the Bible as a users guide for life. Start a daily habit of reading it, even if it is just one chapter every day. If this is a new habit, please start off with the first 4 books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (The Gospels) and then seek out a partner or a group to help guide your reading and study. (Note: if you are not sure where to get more help, please send me a message in the comments below and I will be glad to lend you a hand!)
Second, make a personal connection to God every day through prayer and meditation. Ask God for help in understanding what these words, verses, and stories mean to your life. Pray for God to not only grant you a better understanding, but to give you the courage and the discipline to take action.  You see, just like the ancient monarchies, we have a special relationship with God too, and through Jesus Christ, we have a special role to play in God’s Kingdom: “to show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into a wonderful light.”

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