CLERGY CORNER: Royalty watching in 2018

Posted on 26 April 2018 by LeslieM

Great Britain’s royal family has been receiving a lot of media attention lately. Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 92nd birthday on Saturday, April 21. A concert featuring numerous artists and thousands of adoring subjects was held in her honor as she continues to enjoy the prestige of being the longest reigning monarch in British history. In addition, the world had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Prince William and Duchess Kate’s third child. On Monday, April 23, they announced the birth of a son at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. The latest royal addition is fifth in line for the throne behind his grandfather, father and two older siblings.

Prince William’s younger brother, Harry, is set to marry actress Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle on May 19. Their storybook romance and impending nuptials have drawn comparisons to the courtship and wedding of Harry’s parents, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, in 1981. It seemed as if the entire world paused to watch that ceremony, which was televised from St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Many people feel that Meghan’s good fortune is more akin to that of actress Grace Kelly, who wed Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. The talented actress left Hollywood behind to assume the role as a sovereign of Monaco after a brief courtship with Rainier. Their ceremony at the time was touted to be the “wedding of the century.” To be wooed and wed by a Prince is the stuff that fairy tales are made of; but these accounts are real.

There is another form of royalty watching going on. The recent observance of Easter, where Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, brings to mind the beliefs concerning His second coming. Numerous verses of scripture confirm that He will return one day. Revelation 22:12 relates His promise to the apostle John, “And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Apostle Paul wrote, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.”

A Pew Research Center survey found that most Christians expect Christ to return soon. Another poll discovered that a large number of believers feel that we are living in the “last days,” or “end times,” which signal the return of the Lord. Jesus predicted, in Matthew 24 and 25 that certain events and behavior would indicate that His return was near. Many believers think that those indicators are undeniably apparent in our modern world. The Apostles Creed, which documented the doctrinal beliefs of the Church, states that He will return to judge the living and the dead. Many Protestants hold to the scriptures that refer to His reign over a kingdom and look forward to a time when He will rule on earth as King of kings, and establish lasting peace.

When you add the verses that refer to the Church as a bride and Christ as a groom (Ephesians 5:32 and Rev. 19:7), you understand why many believe that a royal wedding is in the Church’s future. To some it may sound like the stuff of fairytales. To numerous believers though, it is a soon coming reality as certain as the events we are observing among the royals of Britain. To remind themselves of this certainty, the first century believers used to greet each other with the word “Maranatha,” the Lord is coming. The question is, are you watching for His return?

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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