Monday, April 6, 2009

Holy Week

Original posted 3/15/08 at Internet Cafe

On June 2, 1953, Princess Elizabeth left Buckingham Palace, her home of over 800,00 square feet, and rode to Westminster Abbey in a golden horse drawn coach for her coronation as Queen of England.

During the spring of 33 AD, Jesus made his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. He was coming from Bethany, but he was essentially a homeless man, for he had said that he had no place to lay his head. Jesus entered Jerusalem on a young donkey - the most humble animal available. Not a horse, and not even a full grown and trained donkey, but just a colt. A simple, stupid beast of burden.

A crimson coronation robe that was six yards long hung from Elizabeth’s shoulders. Made of hand woven silk velvet, it was edged with ermine and two rows of embroidered gold filigree work. Her crown was solid gold and set with 444 precious stones. She also held a scepter that contains one of the largest diamonds in the world, at 530 carats.

Five days after he entered Jerusalem, the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. (Matthew 27:27-30)

Designers and seamstresses worked on Queen Elizabeth’s coronation gown for sixteen months. The white silk was elaborately embroidered in pastel colored silks, pearls, diamonds, pale amethysts, golden crystals, gold and silver bullion and sequins.

Jesus was stripped of all his clothes and hung on a cross. He was completely nude. Naked and exposed, he was humiliated in front of his mother and all of his friends and enemies. His clothing was then gambled away by strangers.

I am a daughter of the King. Therefore, I am a princess. But what kind of princess do I really want to be? Am I striving after what the world considers royalty? Or is it my goal to exhibit my royal blood in the same way that Jesus did?

My daughter Eva Rose is 3 years old, and has recently entered her “princess stage.” She is obsessed with castles, tiaras, and ballgowns.

I’m a whole lot older than Eva Rose, but think I still retain a little of this princess attitude myself. I definitely think my husband should be Prince Charming, and can get very frustrated when he isn’t. I want my children to be perfect princes and princesses, with appropriate regal attire, and I especially want them to behave in a royal manner. (Boy, is that fantasy going royally unfulfilled.) And I want my home to be a castle, beautiful, with everything just so. Jewels and wealth and servants to do my bidding would be awfully nice as well.

But this is the worldly view of royalty. And if I want to grow in godliness, I need to Get Over It.

Our King didn’t live like that, not in the slightest. Why should I, his daughter, expect such things? How can I closer reflect his life in my life? How, as John the Baptist put it, can I decrease and Christ increase (John 3:30)?

Reviewing the events of Easter week, the word that most comes to mind is humility. The Lord of the Universe, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, humbled himself in the most degrading way possible, that I may be called a child of God, a member of a royal priesthood, an heir to his glorious inheritance.

Humility. I am closer to godliness when I am changing a dirty diaper than possibly at any other time!

Humility. I more resemble Christ the King while cleaning the toilet than if I had a 800,000 square foot palace full of servants.

Humility. I reflect the splendor of my Father more when I am gracious to a rude salesclerk than Queen Elizabeth did in all her finery on her coronation day.

Lord help to remember this, change my heart to be thankful for the opportunities to lay down my time, my pride, and my life for others.
Change my spirit that I would not be bitter or resentful of the unending chores and sacrifices.
Renew my mind that I may see them as opportunities to become more like the daughter of a heavenly King, who condescended to save me from my worldly desires.
Lord, teach me what it means to be your Princess.
Amen.

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