Unlike many of you, I was never a fan of Princess Diana. Not that I disliked her. I had no reason to.
But neither did I have any reason to care about her. Royalty didn’t impress me. I was sorry about her death, but no more so than I would be about anyone else I didn’t know personally.
Sometime prior to Diana’s death, my father took me to a special event at his alma mater, the College of William & Mary. Prince Charles was the featured speaker, and–much to my surprise–I found him interesting. Especially his openness about his problems with Diana.
But my interest in Prince Charles had nothing to do with his royalty. If he had not been one of the world’s most well known people, I wouldn’t have found him nearly as interesting.
Several of my favorite older movies have to do with royalty, though.
The first was King Ralph, in which the whole royal family was accidentally electrocuted and the search for a legitimate heir led to an American (played by John Goodman) who was anything but royal in words and actions. The second was Johnny English, starring the actor best known as Mr. Bean. It involved defending the English throne from being taken over by a nasty, villainous Frenchman.
You might think it strange that those two movies would appeal to me, given my general disinterest in royalty. I enjoyed their humor. No more, no less. What an Englishman would have thought, I couldn’t say.
Blind singer/song writer/pianist extraordinaire Ken Medema released a concert album about thirty years ago. Since I no longer have my copy, I know I’m misquoting something he said during the concert (not as himself, as I recall, but expressing what he imagined had been the feelings of someone else). As best I can recall, he said something about royalty before adding–I’m sure I have this part right–“These are democratic times.”
Even though I’ve probably taken those words out of context, they’ve always stuck with me for a reason that may surprise or even shock you.
The Bible is filled with kings, some good, some bad. Jesus is referred to as a King. The King of Kings, in fact. Because the Jewish people were used to kings and royalty, those who believed He was the Messiah had no trouble thinking of him as The King. It was something they could relate to.
But “these are democratic times”–okay, so the United States is a republic and not a democracy–and I cannot relate as fully to the idea of Heaven being a Kingdom, God being on a throne, and biblical references to Jesus’ royalty. If I’d lived in New Testament times, I would have easily recognized their significance. I wouldn’t even have had to think about it.
Don’t get me wrong. I have complete faith that Jesus is Who He claimed to be. He’s my Lord and Savior, and my constant desire is to live a more Christlike life. I’m very much looking forward to eternity in Heaven, even if it’s a kingdom I can’t fully relate to because of my limited ability to appreciate royalty.
How thankful I am that God doesn’t hold my inability to relate to His royalty against me. In fact, I believe He understands. And sympathizes.
What about you? How do you feel about royalty? Does your comprehension (or lack of it) make the Bible easier or more difficult to relate to? How about leaving a comment?
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