Recently, there have been a number of documentaries detailing the history of the British throne and among the highlights, the abdication of Edward VIII on this date, December 11, in 1936 to marry American divorcee always seems to get some play. First of all, it seems almost impossible that a man who inherited the throne would then turn in down within a year and leave the country of his birth for the purpose of marrying the woman he loved. Of course, we all like to think that we could love with a love that strong, but I don’t know how many of us would actually give up a kingdom to spend the rest of our lives, in relative obscurity, and give up the advantages of the throne.
Yet that is exactly what Edward VIII did. He claimed that he was in love with Ms. Simpson and since she could not become his queen, he made the decision to follow his heart rather than his head – eventually marrying his true love. Now there are many among us who think that he abandoned his duty and responsibility by leaving. I don’t know how that argument ever gets resolved, though. And it is true that his brother, who would ascend the throne, felt the burden of the office, apparently more than Edward did.
But until I started watching various documentaries on the subject of the monarchy, I never really considered that Edward was in any way shirking his responsibility. Rather, it would seem to me that becoming a king would be hard work and although it may have its perks, there is no denying that it an experience full of stress and outside pressures.
To a much greater degree, Jesus suffered some of the same issues. As God, He had all the power, presence and knowledge that existed. In conjunction with the other two members of the Godhead, the Father and the Holy Spirit, Christ has been there from the beginning of everything – the ex nihilo beginning – when God created call that has ever been created, out of nothing.
Yet, He also left the throne of heaven to come to earth as a human child to live among us and demonstrate His great love for us. He gave up the prerogatives of deity in order to fulfill His mission and came to do the will of the Father – giving up His own desires in the meantime to serve others. It is in several weeks that we will be celebrating the arrival of our great King on earth.
Jesus also lived, at least His early years, in relative obscurity. He didn’t come to earth riding a white horse or wielding a sword, vanquishing his enemies. Rather, he came quietly, a still small human voice in the night, to show the world the love of the Father for those of us here on earth. Eventually, Jesus returned to the Father, but he suffered as a mortal during His time here – and lived well below his kingly means – again out of sacrificial love.
Our verse for this evening is from the prophet Isaiah, who told us that Jesus would be entering our physical world. Of course, we celebrate that event each year as we recall the birth of Jesus in a stable. Isaiah tells us, in Is. 9:6-7, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”
My encouragement this evening is that Jesus is on the throne and wishes for us to live and love passionately, just as He did. My prayer tonight is that all of us may remember the sacrifice of Jesus and all that He gave up to walk among us on earth. Because we are His true love – His church – His ambassadors to show the rest of the world how love and peace should really work. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…