Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. Song of Solomon 2:3-4
“I think by this time, even the cynics have been wowed by this,” said Matt Lauer toward the conclusion of the wedding coverage this morning. I admit to being one of those cynics who has paid no attention to the news about the upcoming wedding, who has wondered this week when it has been hard to avoid it in the news why I am supposed to be enthralled it, and who is now swept into the magical nature of it all. I didn’t tune in until the carriage ride to Buckingham Palace…and they had me at the carriage close up. Wow.
The cynicism sprang from being weary of star gazing and fame obsession, living through other people’s lives rather than contentedly in one’s own. The human impression that certain people are more important than others because of the amount of stuff they possess or the commanding nature of their presence in a room of decision makers. We are quick to make a golden calf out of a golden girl or couple or man of our dreams. That is dangerous. But, what struck me this morning, is that cynicism and loss of wonder and dreaming is just as dangerous.
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Mark 10:15
Children do not roll their eyes with disinterest as if to say, “whatever”. Children run and yell out their impulsive thoughts. They are swept away by the presence of a pirate at a birthday party or a princess bending down to speak to them personally at Disney World. So what is it that is stirred in the hearts of children and bigger children at the sight of superheroes and newly wed royalty riding in a carriage, standing on a palace balcony in front of thousands cheering and celebrating the moment?
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:1-3
I’m guessing that deep in my heart where I don’t always know it, I wouldn’t mind being a royal bride, being dressed in a breath taking white gown, being driven in a classically designed royal carriage to a magical palace. Yes, I love the idea of being Braveheart, of being a sassy Anne of Green Gables, or of being one of Charlie’s Angels. The dichotomy, however, between the life of a princess and the life of someone actually doing cool things with life is something that is perhaps a product of sin and our fallen world. God, the King of all Kings, has prepared a place for us, and a time, where and when we get to fully settle into the privilege of being His children. And this privilege will no longer be elitist or superficial or neglectful of the many needs outside the palace walls. There will be no more unmet physical need, no more sickness or dying, no more hunger or crying…the blessing of some will not be at the expense of others…other than the Son.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5
Adam and Eve were given dominion over the kingdom of earth, but they forfeited this good rule and reign for a deception that it could be used for their own appetites. Through Jesus, the perfect ruler reigning even now, I get to be a productive member of THE Royal family. One day the luxuries and glory included will not be in opposition to authentic, selfless, creative service to the Kingdom itself for the honor of the King.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Col. 3:1
What opposes the cynicism is the fact that this future Kingdom reality is not a pipe dream, a pathetic daytime t.v. escape for the lonely, nor a shallow aim for those who are obsessively consumed with the superficial. It is a beautiful reality that reminds us currently that we are surrounded by royalty in the houses next door, for whom we will applaud their procession to the King. Just because we abuse luxury and fame now does not mean it is intrinsically wicked but rather, there is something peaceful and beautiful and powerful about the royal wedding that directs our hearts to the wedding that awaits us, His Bride.
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude,
like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)