On Being Visited By Royalty

What if royalty lived and moved amongst us?

In an interview I just recorded for a Christian podcast, I mentioned how I can be easily triggered in terms of coming across something that I want to turn into an article. Ideas quickly gel in my mind after I have seen or read something, and that inspires me to get a new piece written.

I tend to be a bit of a lateral thinker anyway, and in so many things I come across, I can especially find Christian themes or ideas or values, even if the source is non-Christian. That happened again last night. As I was flicking channels on television, I came upon a film which I had not seen, so I watched some of it. I only managed to view bits and pieces of it – perhaps 25 minutes or so all up.

But that was enough to get the gears in my mind cranking over once again, with various thoughts emerging of a new piece that could be produced, and one that is especially relevant as we approach Christmas. I refer to the 2015 British film, A Royal Night Out.

Set in London on May 8, 1945 when Victory in Europe has just been declared, it involves the then royal family: King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, and the two young Princesses, Margaret and Elizabeth, aged 14 and 19. The two young women want to get out and join in the celebrations with the masses that night, incognito.

But being royalty, and having lived a quite cloistered life for the past six years as the war waged, the parents are not very happy with the idea. They eventually give in however, and the girls set out to experience what life is like ‘on the outside’. Their trip – which was only to last a few hours – ends up running through the night, much to the consternation of the King and Queen.

They both finally make it home the next morning, with Elizabeth accompanied by an airman named Jack. Her parents are not happy to have him join them for breakfast, but Elizabeth insists. Several clear parallels with the biblical storyline can be readily found here.

But first, let me mention that while there is a sort of true story that lies behind the premise of the film, historical liberties were certainly taken. In truth, the pair went in an organised and chaperoned group of 16 people, had a brief time of mingling with the revellers, and were taken back to Buckingham Palace by 1 a.m.

Despite the movie story stretching things quite a bit, it was an enjoyable and heart-warming film – at least the parts of it that I did manage to view. As I said, I am quick to find gospel messages in many things, even in secular films. And some big biblical themes seemed pretty apparent here – even if not intended by the filmmakers.

With Christmas just a few weeks away, we celebrate the wonder of wonders: the Incarnation. Here we have God among us – Immanuel. The Royal Family (the triune godhead) forever enjoyed each other’s company in a loving relationship. The three persons of the Trinity were complete in themselves, and had no need to create anything external to themselves.

Yet they did. They created the universe and everything in it, including us. Sadly we rejected this ideal arrangement and soon found ourselves fully alienated – alienated from God, from others, and even from ourselves. That is why Christ had to come to planet earth. He had to leave the comforts of home with the Royal Family and live amongst us, the ungrateful masses, the rebellious hoi polloi.

Unlike the two Princesses, he did not do this to just have fun, to party, or to celebrate. He came to deal with our alienation from God. He came to deal with our sin problem. In order to accomplish that, he had to live and move among us, experiencing our daily lives and cares. He was truly and fully one of us, while forever remaining fully God.

His death on the cross to die for our sins, and his resurrection, to bring about the end of death, made it possible for us to get right with God. And that raises another major and related theme. Just as Jack the airman was woefully out of place as he walked through the huge and magnificent Buckingham Palace, and at first felt rather uncomfortable before the King and Queen, so too we sinners are so very much out of place before the true Royal Family.

We are so unfit for heaven and the presence of God. But because of what Christ did on our behalf, those who come to Christ in repentance and faith can gain full access to the Royal Family. We are welcomed with open arms into His presence. We can get free entry through the gates of Heaven. Indeed, we are made “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).

Just as the British Monarch eventually welcomed Jack into the Palace that morning, so too Jesus welcomes us into our kingly estate, into even becoming the sons of God. The Apostle Paul speaks about this further in Ephesians when he discusses how gentiles now have full access to God:

“Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13).

So in the biblical story line, not only do we have the King of Kings walking amongst us mere mortals some 2000 years ago on earth, but he has allowed us to share in his Royal residence for all eternity. How amazing is that? Can anything compare with that?

In the film Jack did manage to steal one quick kiss with the Princess, and he had the luxury of having a brief breakfast with the Royal family in the Palace. Those memories (even if fictional) would have been with him all his life. Few people could beat that sort of experience.

But the Christian can and does beat it. We have not only a personal relationship with the King and Creator of the universe, but we get to live with him and enjoy his company forever. There is nothing more remarkable than that reality.

How amazing is the Christmas story? Thank God for his unspeakable gift.

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3 Replies to “On Being Visited By Royalty”

  1. If one had the open and willing ear of the President, Pope, Prime Minister, King or Queen, or even the owner of a small business, he would consider himself/herself privileged and honoured to have such a friend, and would take care not to take such a relationship for granted, but neither would such a relationship be used for selfish advantage, hopefully.
    We have for a life long friend the King of the universe. He has promised to listen and answer every request, every plea for help. He does so not for His sake, but because He loves us. Yet how few bother? Why do we spend so little time with Him? Why do we not take Him at His word, and accept everything He has to offer, even eternal life that came at such a cost to Himself. Yet He loves us anyway. Extraordinary.

  2. One of the reasons that people loved the late Queen and Queen Mother so much back in the United Kingdom was their strong commitment to Christian service and the inner strength that it gave them. The Royal Family never left London, not even at the height of the Blitz. Indeed, when Buckingham Palace was bombed, the Queen Mother said “Now we can look the East End in the eye” because of shared struggle and hardship during a time of adversity. The late Queen’s strong Christian faith was an inspiration to all who knew and respected her. It’s also so touching and beautiful that she went to join the love of her life, Prince Philip, just a year after he passed away.

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