By the time you read this message, many of you will have watched this country’s first coronation for seventy years, and will have joined with family or neighbours to celebrate and witness the momentous occasion with all its pomp and ceremony. Meanwhile we will have missed it all, as this weekend we are away at a family wedding in Wales! It’s been a tough call for the historians amongst us, but to be fair, our niece reserved the date for her special day first!
So we had a choice – coronation or wedding? Obviously the winner was the one in which we have the greatest personal investment in terms of relationship. We can follow the other on catchup TV in due course…
But there will come a time when we don’t have to miss either. The Bible includes word-pictures describing God’s people in royal terms. The apostle Peter writes: – ‘…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession…’ (1 Peter 2:9). Later he adds: – ‘…when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.’ (1 Peter 5:4) Meanwhile, Paul describes a ‘crown of righteousness’ (2 Timothy 4:8), and James tells of ‘…the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.’ (James 1:12) In other words, when we follow Jesus, we receive a promise that we will inherit a place in his royal family.
The Bible also uses the language of marriage to describe our relationship with Jesus, with Paul telling his Corinthian friends, ‘I promised you to one husband, to Christ…’ (2 Corinthians 11:2) and John, writing in the book of Revelation, describing the Church as ‘…the bride, the wife of the Lamb [Jesus].’ (Revelation 21:9) Earlier in Revelation, John anticipates the arrival of the Church for her marriage to Jesus: – ‘…the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.’ (Revelation 19:7)
This weekend’s coronation was, in the eyes of some, a sort of ‘wedding’ between the King and Queen, and the country they serve. its pomp and ceremony will be as nothing compared with the ‘coronation wedding’ celebrations when Jesus is crowned King of kings and we will receive the crowns that mark us as being his bride. We won’t miss either the coronation or the wedding… we’ll celebrate both in one big extravaganza! Meanwhile, we continue to live for Jesus as our King, serving the purposes of his heavenly kingdom as we show his love by serving the needs of our earthly kingdom.
With our love and prayers
Matthew and Pauline