Ever since I’ve been a little girl, one of the things that all of my friends and I have watched have been royal weddings. Since I’ve been alive there have been four royal weddings in the UK. I don’t think I actually watched the first because I was only five months old, but I imagine that my family, like much of America, tuned in somehow.
Next to sporting events, royal weddings are one of the most unifying events in our country and across the globe. The last royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was definitely one of the most impactful on me. Just seeing Meghan’s mother sitting there made us African American women hold our heads a little higher in a way not since the first African American FLOTUS waved and smiled our way.
Yet for all their unifying power, the royal family receives the most hateration in the media of any group of people I know. I think even the worst criminal makes off better in the media than the royal family. Yesterday when I was at the grocery story, I saw so many negative headlines, it made me wonder, is there any rest for these public figures.
In thinking about the UK royals, I am reminded that tomorrow we will celebrate Palm Sunday, which commemorates Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The processional, which takes place the day after Mary anoints Jesus’ feet, is found in John 12:12-13. “The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!’”
This event is one of the most significant and unifying events in scripture. People from everywhere came to see Jesus, even folks from Greece (John 12:20-23). It is considered a happy occasional. Jesus takes his place as one from the Royal Family. The children of Israel, those who believed, were elated and expectant of what this King would do.
Yet, there were people in the background hating on Jesus. In fact, before Jesus even made his way to Jerusalem, “the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus” (John 12:10-11). Jesus had become a public figure and for some a public threat. He and anyone associated with him were an issue for the establishment.
Sometimes, even in these modern times, even in this country of religious freedom, being a Christian can be a problem. This is especially the case in our political climate, where the lines of Christianity and politics are so blurred that it makes all of us look bad. Still we must maintain our identity in Christ.
This week, as we enter into Holy Week, the questions we will be faced with center around our identity in and commitment to Christ as we are reminded of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for us.
Today, as you reflect, ask yourself, no matter the costs, are you willing to pay the cost to be associated with Jesus, Our Royalty?