Dr. James C. Denison
President, Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
November 17, 2010
Lady Diana’s ring
It is the ring seen round the world. In 1981, Prince Charles gave his fiancée a sapphire and diamond ring for their engagement. Now his son has given his mother’s ring to his fiancée. Today’s New York Times tells us what everyone who follows the British royal family already expected: Prince William and Kate Middleton are engaged.
She is a “different sort of royal bride from Diana,” according to the Times. Her father is a former British Airways officer, her mother a former flight attendant. They now run a mail-order business which sells paraphernalia for children’s parties. Should she become Queen Catherine, she would be the first queen in British history to have a college degree.
Kate Middleton’s story is proof that our past does not predict our future. Some of William’s friends apparently made fun of her middle-class upbringing. But no one is laughing now.
It’s hard to think of a great figure in Scripture or history who did not transcend his or her history. Joseph went from Potiphar’s prison to Pharaoh’s palace; Moses was the abandoned child of slaves who became the leader of his nation; David was a boy shepherd who became his people’s greatest king; Jesus’ disciples were unknown Galileans whose names now adorn churches the world over.
When Janet and I were in New York City last week, we visited Ellis Island, the facility where more than 12 million immigrants first set foot on American soil. Today 100 million of us, one in three, can trace our families back to one of those courageous pioneers. Yesterday does not prescribe today.
Royal romance is always the stuff of headlines. But few couples have a story like that of Edward VIII, elevated to the throne on January 20, 1936 as a bachelor. He reigned less than a year before making public his intention to marry and elevate as queen Mrs. Wallace Simpson, an American citizen whose second divorce was then pending. A storm of protest quickly raged across the nation. So Edward chose to abdicate his throne. To the shock of the world, he gave up his throne and power and glory for the one he loved. He married Mrs. Simpson in June 1937.
This beautiful example of humble love pales compared to what happened in a Bethlehem stable twenty centuries ago. There the King of Kings gave up his throne in heaven, his power over all the universe, his glory in eternity, and became a baby laid in a feed trough in a cow stall. The crib soon became a cross, the stable a tomb. And all of it was for you. If he is your King, your future is as bright as the promises of God.
What matters is not where you began the race, but where you end.