Citizens of the U.S. have an uncanny fascination with U.K. royalty. Our founding fathers spent so much time, energy, and revolutionary sacrifice aiming to get away from oppressive rule. Perhaps that’s part of why we chuckle over Jonathon Groff’s King George song “You’ll Be Back” in Hamilton. It still makes me laugh every time.
Diplomatic amiability across the years has transformed the American perspective. It’s been extra-punctuated in recent years with Netflix’ The Crown and also Prince Philip’s death, Queen Elizabeth’s death, and now King Charles’ reign.
How might The Crown influence our attitudes and actions in our daily work?
First, The Crown reminds us of the greatest King and his unique kingdom work.
Jesus’ incarnation, his gracious work for humans, his current mission in history, and his future redemption are all woven with this thread of the divine crown and kingdom.
In Luke 6:20, Jesus spotlights his altogether different kingdom: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Jesus is King of the most unique kingdom, and he wants us to play our loving role.
Here’s the rule and reign of God, starting in human hearts, then moving through our lives, love, and work. When we welcome his rule and reign, he brings his peace through forgiveness of our sins, beautiful purpose, provision with ample resources, and growing progress in our character. The King creates stunningly new attitudes and opportunities so we can impact others’ lives!
Even bigger fulfillment will come with Jesus’ eventual return to rule and reign in the new heavens and new earth. In the here and now, this is a rule and reign in the everyday lives of Jesus’ followers. Disciples are called to be lovingly responsive to the King’s leadership, his words, and his holy purposes. We recognize our own spiritual poverty; we need his loving, gracious new work in us. We need his riches of righteousness on our behalf. We then repent and live as devoted citizens in his kingdom.
Luke had his own fascination with the crown in his day. Luke 1:5 spotlights “In the time of Herod king of Judea…” In Luke 2:1-2, Luke supplies further royal backdrop: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world…”
Luke repeatedly places Jesus’ rule and reign front and center. In Luke 11, crowds were thronging around Jesus and seeking a miraculous sign. He told them the only sign they would get was the sign of Jonah. The prophet’s big-fish rescue was famous in Israel’s history. Christ declared that the rescued Jonah and his own coming resurrection were all the miraculous signs people needed.
In Luke 11:31 (NASB), Jesus said: “The Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”
Jesus recalled that royal scene. The Queen of the South made the long, arduous trek to visit King Solomon and listen to his wisdom. Christ said, “She will rise up at judgment day to condemn this generation.” Jewish understanding—reinforced in New Covenant teaching as well—included a coming day when all humans will give account to their creator God. Jesus said this famous Queen, likely the Queen of Sheba, will step forward as a witness against the wicked people in Jesus’ day. The Queen, a foreigner, was more responsive to God’s wise ways than the crowds around Jesus.
Jesus’ big point? “Behold! One greater than Solomon is here.”
King Jesus was telling them, “I am greater! Listen to me!” Here’s amazing punctuation. It’s all about Jesus—his life, love, and work flowing through our lives, love, and work.
Second, The Crown supplies a unique example of a Jesus-focused perspective.
Though Queen Elizabeth’s long reign and family life were indeed complicated, she gave verbal expression to serving King Jesus. Others who knew her well echoed a similar grasp of her perspective.
Kenneth MacKenzie was a domestic chaplain to the Queen for fifteen years. MacKenzie has reflected on personal conversations with the Queen and affirmed: “I knew she felt a calling in some way from her people, but more than that, she saw her calling as from almighty God…”
Paul Williams, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bible Society UK said:
The queen’s faith has made a real difference in her reign and to the nation… Her Christian faith has been her guide during the highs and lows of her life and because of that she has been able to be a stable and enduring presence in our national life.
Third, The Crown reminds us of humanity’s original royal calling.
In Genesis 1:26-28, our triune God says, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over…” The whole of God’s creation is included, from birds in the sky to the fish in the sea. From way up high to way down deep and everything in between, humans were called to serve as vice-regents with the creator King. Our royal role is a big part of being made in God’s image.
Psalm 8:4-6: “…what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet…”
Royal work. It’s not just for the monarchy in the United Kingdom.
The Lord has crowned each of us, so we have great work to accomplish. He calls us to deeply love others and lead well. Let’s not forget: he is our all-wise, loving King. We follow his lead!