Carol and I have enjoyed watching the Netflix series on "The Crown"--a dramatization of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

In a somber moment during Episode 2, Elizabeth has just returned to London after learning of the death of her father, King George VI. While still on the plane and while changing to her mourning clothes, Elizabeth reads a letter from her grandmother, Queen Mary. Queen Mary is offering words of consolation and advice to the 26 year-old queen, pointing out that as she faces the coming conflicts between her old life as Elizabeth Montbatten and her new life as Elizabeth the Queen, "the Crown must win--must always win."

I sometimes wonder if Jesus--the divine "Word made flesh"--faced similar conflicts between his human identity as Jesus of Nazareth and his divine identity as the Son of God. Perhaps it was this conflict that led Jesus to ask "Father, if your are willing, remove this cup from me..." Yet Jesus remained faithful to his task, as he prayed "yet, not my will but yours be done" (Luke 22:42).

During our worship on Sunday, we will hear Pilate challenge Jesus with the question, "Are you a king?" We will hear once again the response of Jesus, telling Pilate and all of us that "My kingdom is not from this world." (John 16:36). The Kingdom that Jesus proclaims is not a kingdom built on armies and power and wealth; rather, it is a Kingdom "not from this world" which is built on peace, life and love. As the Angel Gabriel proclaimed to another woman named Mary, "of his kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:33). The Crown must win!

I hope to see you in church!


This Saturday night, please remember to change your clocks. We will "spring forward" one hour to welcome Daylight Savings Time.




Food For Thought

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10b (NRSV)

Teach us, good Lord,
To serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost:
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labor and not to ask for any reward,
except that of knowing that we do your will;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A Prayer of Ignatius of Loyola. Reprinted from The United Methodist Hymnal, #570.