THE ROYAL WEDDING, PART 2

 

I’m still not over the royal wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. Remember, I’m a hopeless romantic. I keep thinking about the bride, and that veil!  There are still nuggets to be mined from her story and I have to give my friend Catherine for the nudge to write these words.

 

I have always been an Anglophile and an English history buff. Jerry and I subscribe to two British television-streaming networks.  And I’m especially interested in the monarchy.  This interest began in high school when I took an English history course under a very gifted teacher, Leon Wilensky.  His teaching method was different from other history teachers I had in that he wasn’t very concerned with dates, but instead emphasized the essence and meaning of history.  However, there was one date you absolutely HAD to memorize in order to pass the class. I may not be able to remember your name or why I walked into the kitchen, but I can tell you that William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  That battle changed the course of history, and William became the first Norman king, crowned in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day.  I became fascinated with the succession of kings after that, and even while writing these words I’m thinking I would like to go back and brush up on my history.

 

When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry she became a member of the royal family.  And she herself is now royal.  Her title is now Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex.  The fact that Harry chose her as his bride is really remarkable. Not only is she a divorced American, she is bi-racial.  And she is a commoner!  Edward VIII must be turning over in his grave.  On paper, she is entirely unsuitable, and would never have married into the royal family in the not too distant past.  In fact, if you go way back in history, some of those things might have gotten her beheaded.

 

I became curious about the process of becoming a royal so I did a little research.  A royal title can only be granted by the reigning monarch, in this case Queen Elizabeth, by means of conferring something called letters patent under the Great Seal. The patent is a parchment, which bears the seal.  A royal’s name must be recorded in the Roll of Peerage.  If your name is not on the roll, you aren’t royal.

 

Royalty demands respect.  There are rules for meeting the Queen, how she should be addressed, how to stand and when to sit.  And take note Michelle Obama, the Queen is NOT to be touched.  Because of her service to the nation, because of her unique place in history, and because she represents all that the British cherish about their country, the Queen demands respect.  At the close of the royal wedding when everyone sang God Save the Queen, I didn’t notice anyone taking a knee.  They stood out of respect for Queen and country.

 

Although Meghan is not a queen, or even a princess, she has attained a new level of status.  What will the new Duchess have to do besides wear gorgeous clothes and look fabulous? The royals have privileges and responsibilities, and the responsibilities far outweigh the privileges. The primary duty of all royals is procreation.  They are to produce heirs.  Since Meghan is 36 years old she better get right on it.

 

But besides producing heirs they have numerous official, ceremonial, and diplomatic duties.  I read somewhere that the Queen makes over 350 public appearances a year, and she is 92 years old!  One doesn’t get to sit back and lounge on the throne.  It’s a job.  And so it will be a new job for Meghan.  Becoming a royal means she must give up her former life because she now represents the Queen.  She has a new home (or homes) and I doubt that she will ever have to worry about having enough money.  Because he is incredibly wealthy, Prince Harry will no doubt provide royally.  That aquamarine ring!

 

You have probably already guessed where I am going with all of this. I will never wear a diamond tiara, but much of Meghan’s story parallel’s mine.  I too was chosen by a Prince, although I brought nothing of value on my own. I was a commoner, unworthy, but He conferred royalty on me (I Peter 2:9), and my name was recorded in The Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 21:27).  I am a joint-heir with Christ!  I will never wear a fabulous designer one-of-a-kind gown, but my Prince has “clothed me with the garments of salvation and covered me with the robe of righteousness,” (Isaiah 61:10).  I too have a new home in Heaven just waiting for me.  But while I am still on this earth Christ has bestowed on me countless blessings.  Because He has all the riches of Heaven at His disposal, He provides everything I need (Phil. 4:19).  I also have new responsibilities.  I am now an ambassador of Christ (2 Cor. 5:20) and as such I am called to a new life. And I am given the commission to procreate, to produce more heirs to the Kingdom (Matt. 28:19).

 

As I was thinking about William the Conqueror being crowned on Christmas Day, I was reminded of the first Christmas when a new King arrived on the scene.  Crowned with thorns and hung on a cross, He changed history!  Nothing has been the same since Christ.  As King of King, he is worthy of our respect.  One day, every knee will bow.

 

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious

 

High and lifted up

Jesus, Son of God

The darling of Heaven crucified

Worthy is the Lamb

Worthy is the Lamb

 

Read more:  Hillsong – Worthy Is The Lamb Lyrics | MetroLyrics

 

 

 

 

STARTING THE DAY OUT RIGHT

 

One of my areas of interest in psychology is called positive psychology.  Founded by Martin Seligman and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, positive psychologists study what makes people happy, what makes life worth living, instead of what makes people dysfunctional.  What a concept!  One of the basic principles is that of perspective.  We can’t always change what is happening in our lives, but we can change the way we look at it.  It seems so simple but it took us a long time to start studying it.  So I am always on the lookout for writers and speakers who embrace this philosophy.

 

The other day the television just happened to be on when Megyn Kelly’s (not a fan) show was airing. I wasn’t watching, but just passing through the room when my antenna honed in on her guests, a couple called Marc and Angel.  I only caught the end of the interview, but a little internet research led me to their blog pageand their new book, Getting Back to Happy.  I subscribed to their daily emails and find them to be inspiring.

 

I’m guessing Marc and Angel’s worldview is humanist or possibly Buddhist, while mine is decidedly Christian, but truth lines up with truth. I say that to explain why yesterday’s email resonated with me.  They shared a morning ritual, meditation, affirmation they use to begin their day. Their belief is that you can determine the kind of day you will have by the way you spend your morning.  I’d like to share the meditation here, however I’ve not only changed some of the wording, I’ve changed it from an affirmation to a prayer.  Why speak to the universe when you can speak to the God who created the universe?   So here is my revised version in italics, with credit to Marc and Angel for the original.

 

Begin each day with the following meditation (prayer):

 

May I be happy (holy. I think God is more concerned with my holiness than my happiness.  I Peter 1:16). 

May I be healthy.  (Psalm 103: 2-3).

May I be safe.  (Psalm 91).

May I be at ease (be at peace with YouIsaiah 26:3).

May I be loved (May I be aware of your love, and may I know the love of others.  May I also be loving.  Romans 8: 35-39).

 

Then you repeat the prayer with someone you love as the subject.  For example a spouse, child or parent:

 

May Jerry be holy.

May Jerry be healthy.

May Jerry be safe.

May Jerry feel be at peace with You.

May Jerry know Your love and the love of others, and may he also be loving.

 

Now comes the hard part.  Use someone you have a difficult relationship with as the subject.  Let’s say her name is Jane.

 

May Jane be holy.

May Jane be healthy.

May Jane be safe.

May Jane be at peace with You.

May Jane know your love and the love of others, and may she also be loving.

 

How we spend our mornings has a direct impact on the rest of the day.  When you start with this prayer, asking for God’s blessing on your life and the lives of others, you are beginning the day with loving-kindness. We cannot always change the situation we are in, but we can decide how we will respond.  You are choosing to begin your day with positive thoughts instead of focusing on the challenges the day might bring.

 

 

WALKING THE AISLE

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I confess.  I’m a royal watcher.  I can’t really explain why, except to say that I love the pomp and pageantry.  I’m a sucker for beautiful gowns and ancient castles.  And I guess I have never really gotten over fairy tales, although as a grandmother to seven granddaughters I have changed the heroines from damsels in distress to strong women.  Cinderella finds a sharp attorney to contest her father’s will and ends up inheriting everything.  She then goes to law school.  Snow White awakens with a passion to go to medical school to study dwarfism.  And Sleeping Beauty informs Prince Charming that she is grateful to be awakened, but this kingdom belongs to her, and she will be the one doing the reigning, thank you!  Think Elizabeth and Phillip.

 

So while I loved the fairy tale quality of last Saturday’s royal wedding, I was struck by the iconic image of Meghan Markle standing alone at the top of the steps waiting to walk into that magnificent chapel by herself.  She was a confident woman, not a helpless damsel.  And even though Prince Charles met her half way to escort her to the altar, he didn’t give her away.  She gave herself to her prince.

 

I had some time to think about these things Saturday afternoon as we were dressing to go to a “real” wedding here in Tulsa.  Why do women need to be given away?  We are not property or chattel.  Now before you decide that I have jumped off the feminist deep end, bear with me.  I still consider myself to be a fairly traditional woman.  While I still love the picture of the bride on her father’s arm, I think the wording needs to be changed a bit.  “Who gives this woman to this man,” seems as outmoded as “ And thereto I plight thee my trough.”  Maybe the parents presentthe bride instead of giving her.  I haven’t got it precisely worked out yet, but I was thinking about it on Saturday afternoon.  So as the bride and her father walked the aisle at the Tulsa wedding I attended, I thought to myself, “Oh no, don’t give her away!”  To my surprise he didn’t.  “No one gives Katie away.  She gives herself.”  Katie is a modern woman.

 

As a counselor who is also a Christian, I frequently talk about marriage being a picture of Christ and the Church.  (Although as a wife I can tell you I haven’t always painted a pretty picture.)  This conversation usually comes up when one or both parties tell me they are not happy.  That is when I tell them marriage is not about our happiness; it is about our holiness.

 

Christ’s purpose toward me is always redemptive.  He is always calling me to Himself, calling me to come aside to holiness, to belong to Him. But no one can do that for me.  I must make the decision for myself, to give myself to Him, to take those steps toward Him myself.

 

As I write these words, I must also say that I believe in the concept of household salvation.  In the 16thchapter of Acts, Paul and Silas tell the Philippian jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved—you and your household.”  Does that mean when the head of the household comes to Christ the rest of the family is automatically saved?  No.  The offer is extended to all, but each must come alone.  However I think it is easier for the household to be saved when the head is a Believer.

 

Jerry and I have a relative we spoke with years ago about the Lord.  He wasn’t ready to repent at that time and he jokingly told us he was counting on Jerry’s dad to get him into Heaven.  It just doesn’t work that way.   However, I believe that when the parents are Christians, and when they teach their children the things of God, and bring them up in the admonition of the Lord, it is more likely that the whole household will be saved.  By the way, this family member later came to trust Christ for himself.  Prayers were answered!

 

When I look at this beautiful picture of Meghan Markle waiting to walk to her prince, I think that is the way it is with each Believer.  We must each give ourselves to our Prince.  Oh as parents we can dedicate our children in sweet ceremonies. But that does not obtain salvation for them.  We actually are dedicating ourselves to train them in the things of God.  Each of my daughters individually made their own decision to trust Jesus.  I could lead them but I couldn’t do it for them.  As a mother, I have “given” my children to God many times as I have prayed over different situations in their lives.  I guess I must keep taking them back!  And God has told me many times that He loves them even more than I do, and He has reminded me that they have already given themselves to Him.  They belong to Him.

 

You might be wondering how do I do this?  How do I give myself to the Lord?  How do I come into a personal relationship with Him?  By believing Jesus and trusting Him for salvation.  You could then say a prayer something like this. “Lord I recognize and confess that I am a sinner, and I have tried to do things my own way.  I am lost and I need to be saved.  I deserve hell.  Please forgive me.  I believe that you died as payment for my sin.  I believe you were buried and rose from the dead.  Thank you.  I invite you into my heart to be my Savior and Lord.  From now on I want to follow you and do your will.”  The words don’t matter as much as the intent of your heart. The words don’t save you.  It is faith, the belief that Jesus is Lord and His words are true, it is trusting in Him alone for salvation that saves you.

 

As much as we may want this for those we love, we cannot do this for them.  They must believe and give themselves to God.  But when Jesus calls us, when we give ourselves to Him, we can walk boldly into His presence, just as Meghan Markle walked confidently into the presence of her prince.  Just think, we can walk to the throne of the King of Kings.  As magnificent as the sights of Windsor were on Saturday, they are nothing compared to what awaits us in Heaven!

 

 

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