Royal Vows Word on the Week 6th May 2023.
A vow or oath is an instrument to put the one who makes it under stronger constraints to keep it than that person would have in its absence. It emphasises the importance of following through with the task to its completion.
It is used in Law Courts to underline the importance of the spoken words. These should be true and fulsome in their description of the matter in hand.
In an age where there is a propensity to lie the impact of the vow is weakened by the poverty of belief in the Bible over which the vow is made. The ninth Commandment could be translated ‘do not lie’ (Exodus 20 verse 16). Where no belief exists the Courts are prepared to accept an affirmation to speak the truth taking the wording from St Matthew 5 verses 33 to 37.
Most of us would be familiar with Marriage vows. These are made before God and solemnly declare lifelong love and faithfulness to one another. The vow usually contains the line to forsaking all others and to make one’s allegiance to each other alone. There is also the promise to care for any children. This is a Marriage covenant and is “till death do us part” i.e. for life.
This gives a glorious certainty to the union in which love can grow and prosper as the years go by. Sadly, today the more common option is the marriage contract. In this case vows are taken to abide by the contract so long as it fulfils my desire. This inevitably permits a selfish element to be introduced and the sense of permanency is lost.
In becoming King of England this Saturday Charles will be required to take the monarch’s vows. He is at a disadvantage as he does not have his Mother’s strong Christian faith. Despite this he is expected to be a “defender of the faith”. He has stated he wants the word faith to be in the plural to encompass all the faiths in his kingdom. This is not possible as they are mutually exclusive.
Charles will automatically become supreme governor of the Church of England upon his coronation. This he accepts on oath. The copy of the Bible which the Presbyterian Minister gave him came with this citation: – To keep you ever mindful of the Law and Gospel of God as the rule for the whole life and government of Christian Princes, receive this Book the most valuable thing that this world has to offer: –
Here is wisdom: –
This is the royal Law: –
These are the lively oracles of God.
May the King and may we find it to be so, by God’s grace, in our lives.