The Lord Reigns Word on the Week 29th April 2023.
We live in a world inhabited by Lilliputians! Little people who live to make a mess of God’s world and create a chaotic replica of their own. Today let us affirm the great declaration first made by Moses in Miriam’s song, “The Lord shall reign for ever and ever” (Exodus 15 verse 18).
At present he reigns unseen to the human eye but is very present to the eye of faith. His purposes to redeem a people for himself will be accomplished in his time and by his way. And the way is through Jesus who himself is the way (John 14 Verse 6). Then the end shall come (1 Corinthians 15 verse 24).
Earthly Kings were never God’s intention in fact he warns against the monarchy foreseeing its abuses (1 Samuel 8 verses 5 to 9). Never-the-less we are asked to pray for Kings and those in Authority (1 Timothy 2 verse 1).
Perhaps the most comprehensive of all Biblical prayers is that of Solomon on the occasion of his coronation (1 Kings 8 verses 20 to 61). It was uttered in the newly consecrated temple with the ark of the Lord’s covenant in its Holy Place in the inner sanctuary.
As the priests withdrew from the Holy Place they could not perform their service as the cloud of the Lord’s glory filled the temple (1 Kings 8 verses 6 to 11). A pale reflection of this scene will be enacted in Westminster Abbey this coming Saturday when Charles 111 will be crowned king in place of his late mother Queen Elizabeth.
The monarchy reaches back to the legendary King Arthur of the fifth or sixth centuries. The tradition itself goes back to the time of Solomon and Zadok the priest. It has been drawn upon by G F Handel in his coronation anthem “God save the King”. It was first played at the coronation of the German ruler from Hanover who became King George11 of Great Britain in 1727.
As an extra layer of ‘spiritual authority’ to the proceedings Charles will be anointed with ‘holy oil’. This oil has been consecrated at a ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The act of anointing Charles will be conducted by Archbishop Welby in private before the crowning takes place.
It is easy to get carried away by the pomp and pageantry of the occasion. One could even forget that, wonderful though the ceremonies are, over and above it all it is the Lord who reigns.
What we do on earth is but a shadow of that great multitude of the little people who in Christ have overcome the evil of this world and gather at the throne of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. They are his chosen and faithful followers from every tongue and tribe and nation (Revelation 17 verse 14 and 7 verse 9).
Let us wish Charles as fruitful a reign as his Mother had and sing with a depth of meaning the line “God save the King”.