Responding to Royalty
One of our collection of as-yet unpublished Christmas resources.
This is written by LUKE TATTERSALL and first used Christmas 1997
Source: Author – unpublished in Perspective
bq. I heard one of those AMAZING BUT TRUE stories the other day. It happened in England just recently – on the streets of London. A young girl was riding her bike and fell off. Nothing to extraordinary about that. But the accident took place as the QUEEN MOTHER was driving past in her ROLLS ROYCE. She ordered her CHAUFFEUR to stop the car and help the little girl to her feet. The QUEEN MOTHER then spoke to the young girl – who wasn’t BADLY HURT – and asked her if she’d like a LIFT HOME. The little girl responded by saying “NO THANK YOU. I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO ACCEPT LIFTS FROM STRANGERS.
As that little FIVE YEAR OLD GIRL gets older I am sure that she will REGRET that she didn’t accept a ride in the QUEEN MOTHERS ROLLS ROYCE.
The PROBLEM WAS she didn’t RECOGNIZE who it was. She was FACE TO FACE WITH ROYALTY and she responded in the WRONG WAY.
When you meet ROYALTY there is a RIGHT and a WRONG way to RESPOND.
I can remember hearing one of the AUSTRALIAN CRICKET TEAM talk about their visit to BUCKINGHAM PALACE. They were to have MORNING TEA with the QUEEN – but BEFORE they could do that they had to be given INSTRUCTIONS on HOW TO SPEAK and ACT when with the QUEEN.
There is a RIGHT WAY and a WRONG WAY to RESPOND to ROYALTY.
RESPONDING TO ROYALTY
RESPONDING to ROYALTY is a part of the CHRISTMAS STORY, too.
In that last Bible reading we saw 2 RESPONSES to ROYALTY: One is the RIGHT RESPONSE – the other is TOTALLY WRONG.
The story is one that you probably know well.
The WISE MEN have come from the EAST because they KNOW that an IMPORTANT KING has been born. They want to ACKNOWLEDGE his BIRTH. They have even come with GIFTS FIT FOR A KING.
Now they knew ROUGHLY where to find this NEW KING – but they didn’t know EXACTLY. So they did the LOGICAL THING.
They went and saw the LOCAL RULER – KING HEROD – and asked him. Surely he would know where this NEW KING could be found.
When they went to see HEROD, he was more than a little SURPRISED to hear about the birth of a NEW KING. He KNEW NOTHING ABOUT IT. Not only was he SURPRISED. He was ANGRY. He thought that HE was the King. He wasn’t going have someone ELSE come in a PUSH HIM off the throne.
In fact we see that Herod is SO ANGRY about this NEW KING that he wants him DEAD.
When HEROD is UNABLE to find EXACTLY where this KING is he gives the order that EVERY BABY under the age of 2 is to be KILLED. He is going to MAKE SURE that this NEW KING is DEAD.
Jesus and his family ESCAPE from HEROD.
But the WISE MEN know how to RESPOND to this NEW KING. They have travelled an ENORMOUS DISTANCE to see him. They have brought EXPENSIVE GIFTS. They have come to WORSHIP HIM.
But it is not the GIFTS or the DISTANCE they have TRAVELLED that is important.
What is IMPORTANT is that they ACKNOWLEDGE HIM AS KING. They KNOW that they have to ACCEPT his KINGSHIP.
YOUR RESPONSE TO THE KING
Well TOMORROW is CHRISTMAS DAY – the day we REMEMBER the BIRTH of JESUS – that NEW KING.
We all ACKNOWLEDGE his BIRTH. Even the most HARDENED ATHEIST would be able to tell you basically what Christmas was about. They are happy to have a PUBLIC HOLIDAY to CELEBRATE his BIRTH.
CHRISTMAS is about JESUS being BORN – coming into this world. He came to be our SAVIOUR. And he came to be OUR KING.
AND HE IS STILL KING.
CHRISTMAS is a GOOD TIME for us to ask ourselves:
“HOW HAVE I RESPONDED TO JESUS AS KING?”
I have a friend who travels to ENGLAND each year. He tells the story about one occasion when he met one of the MEMBERS of the HOUSE OF LORDS and was invited to have LUNCH at the PARLIAMENTARY DINING ROOM. John said that it was a STRANGE FEELING walking into the HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT. He was GREETED at the door and directed to a WAITING ROOM where his friend, the LORD would meet him. Before LUNCH John was given a GUIDED TOUR of the PARLIAMENT. His FRIEND showed him the CHAMBER and pointed out the seat where the QUEEN SITS if she is in PARLIAMENT. It was a good few steps HIGHER than any other seat in the room. A PROMINENT POSITION for an IMPORTANT PERSON. John said to his FRIEND: “HOW ABOUT I GO AND SIT IN THE SEAT AND YOU TAKE MY PHOTO.” His friend almost had a HEART ATTACK and said “JOHN!!! YOU MUSTN’T DO THAT. THERE IS ONLY ONE PERSON WHO CAN SIT ON THAT SEAT.”
It was PRESUMPTIONS of JOHN to think he could sit in a place that ONLY THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND was PERMITTED to SIT. There was no PRETENDING. That seat was for ONE PERSON ALONE.
But I have a feeling that people today do the SAME THING to JESUS. He has come as the KING OF THIS WORLD. The ONLY WAY for us to RESPOND to him is to ACCEPT HIM AS KING. The ONLY WAY to RESPOND is to BECOME PART OF HIS KINGDOM. We OUGHT TO ACKNOWLEDGE him as the KING of OUR LIVES.
TOMORROW we celebrate the BIRTH of JESUS – the one who came to be the KING of the WORLD.
We hope that it is a day when you can acknowledge him as KING – YOUR KING.
I hope you have a WONDERFUL DAY with your family. Thanks for being here with us tonight.