I love the idea of royalty! History, Culture, Tradition, pomp and ceremony, if you will.
All of this is right up my alley! There is an overwhelming social pressure (it's possible it’s just in my perfectionist brain) to be cool, spontaneous, easygoing, and casual, but I feel the need to confess... that's not really me.
I’m actually kind of uptight!
I like formality, systems and order, for things to be done right, the way they are “meant” to be done! My husband and I have these sayings that perfectly reflect our personalities...mine is: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right! His is: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing fun!” We drive each other a little crazy with this (and also balance each other quite well!)
There were several things I immersed myself in, as a young person, that both reflect my temperament and shaped it. One was spending a year living in an Old Manor House in the South of England, built in the 16th century. Another was going to finishing school. (Yes, that’s really a thing!)
But the first would be classical ballet.
The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabi I studied were formed from European traditions of Ballet over 400 years old. Ballet requires strength and control. You have to be disciplined and focused to produce something so light and free and beautiful. I dedicated many years of my childhood and adolescence to this passion. I loved it! (It seems pertinent to mention that my husband, a strong and rugged individual who runs a home restoration business, graduated college with a degree in Musical theater majoring in classical ballet! That’s kind of sexy… isn’t it?)
He’s also British! (As is my mom.) I’ve always adored the British culture and a major part of that is the Monarchy - The Queen and the Royal family. Being a part of the British commonwealth, Australia’s head of state is actually Queen Elizabeth II. And has been for my entire lifetime! What?! Can you think of any one leader or establishment that hasn’t changed for your entire life? And that still maintains the values it stands for?
All little girls love the idea of being royalty. Lets talk about why
Is it the balls and events and beautiful dresses? The jewelry and crown? The ceremonies that you are invited to where you are treated with such delight, honor and dignity?
Is it the Fame? Having your portrait in the halls of government buildings, schools and churches and even your silhouetted profile on currency? Being given a title? Without ever having done anything! You are chosen, appointed and given wealth and influence just for being you. When you drive through the streets, great crowds of people line the gated sidewalks just to catch a glimpse of you, wave a flag and give you flowers.
In the recent Netflix series, ‘The Crown’, (total MUST see!) Queen Mary says to her young, recently ordained granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, “Monarchy is God's sacred mission to grace and dignify the earth - to give ordinary people an ideal to strive towards - an example of nobility and duty, and to raise them in their wretched lives. Monarchy is a calling from God. That is why you're crowned in an abbey, not a government building; why you're anointed, not appointed; it's an archbishop who puts the crown on your head, not a minister or a public servant; which means that you're answerable to God in your duty - not to the public.”
Wow! That is a real thing that has real weight and power!
But what else do we love so much about stories of Kingdom?
What about the fairytales version of the plight and triumph of a journey to royalty? Being chosen and raised up from your rags, from your aching hands and knees, from isolated loneliness, scrubbing, serving, cleaning and washing of your stepmother’s cruel and love-void house.
Or being brought back to life by true love’s kiss after being cast out by the jealous rage of a parent. (Neglected, abused and rejected by the very one that is meant to nurture, protect and equip you for the life ahead.)
When we say yes to following Jesus we are adopted into a family, loved and fully embraced by a loving heavenly Father. But we are also given a grand and high position in the Kingdom of Heaven second only to Jesus Himself. This is a wonderful honor but also a responsibility.
When He sends you to do something you can be fully and completely confident that you are sent with the full weight and authority of the Kingdom as well as all it’s resources. If we don’t understand that, we are in danger of living in fear and doubt, which results in two things.
First is an accusation against the character of God, which causes us to miss out on the fullness of relationship with Him. The second is that we won’t obey what He asks us to do (which is honestly pretty serious). If He asks you to do something He means it. He requires our loyalty and obedience.
Jesus said, "You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14
Jesus is the exact representation of the Father. So, to know and understand what He is like, we have wonderful examples and illustrations of Him in the Gospels. There were times when Jesus used His authority in mercy and kindness, like the time that He raised the widow's son back to life. And then there were times that He used his authority to clear out the thieves and merchants from the outer court of the temple, with great force and anger.
We have not centuries, but millennia of culture and tradition to uphold.
We have an identity and Laws to represent, established not only on earth but in Heaven as well, and throughout the entire universe. If that’s not intimidating then I don’t know what is!
I can hardly get my hair done most days.
It takes a lot for me to hold my tongue when I can’t find a parking space or when I go online to do my grocery shopping and for three weeks running they are ‘Out of Stock’ of my Orange Peach and Mango juice! (When I know for a fact that if I hauled all of my kids into that store and walked the three and a half miles to the refrigerated drinks section, they would totally have it!) Not a very royal temperament right here! Don’t they know who I am?!
So how do we relate to the magnificent God we worship? Is He a father who lavishes His unfailing and unconditional love and forgiveness on us? Who fully knows us and accepts us as we are? Or is He a King, the Ruler of heaven and earth, Creator and Sustainer of all things endeavoring to extend His kingdom through the lives of His people?
The answer is…He is both!
We relate to Him as a child relates to a loving parent because that is who we are first of all. But, like the children of the president who understand that when they speak or act there are eyes watching them, they know that they represent more than just themselves.
So it is with us; as we grow in intimacy and maturity with our Father we see that He has given us access to great wealth and resources, that we have influence that comes through being in His family and sharing His name. You are a princess! Chosen before you have done anything to earn or prove yourself, to not only be near to Him but also to rule with Him and represent His Kingdom.
Just like Cinderella or Snow White, He searches for you, finds you and lifts you just as you are, to be with Him. You are Daughters of the King that He delights in and is proud of!