This year Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. The festivities will commemorate a 70-year reign which began in 1952 upon the death of her father. The following year, in a landmark coronation ceremony, she received her crown.
As monarch, Queen Elizabeth reigns over the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms. While her title may make her position seem posh and glamorous to many of us, her duties are filled with daily requirements and responsibilities – all performed under the watchful eye of the worldwide public. It is a public that has seen scandals rock the royal family, bring disrepute to the crown, and lead to a call for the end of the Royal Crown in the United Kingdom.
As we look on, we see the repercussions of actions.
Proverbs 17:6 says, “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.” I have read this verse many times but had not tied it to “royalty” until I read Larry Hoekman’s book Intentional Grandparenting with God’s Vision. As I read Mr. Hoekman’s book, it occurred to me that many of us associate this verse with being proud of our grandchildren. We think about hauling out our many pictures of our grandchildren (and my twelve are obviously the smartest and cutest of them all) and bragging on them. But this time I read with new understanding. No longer do I associate this verse with pride and bragging rights. No, being “the crown of the aged” indicates the royal responsibilities and requirements we have toward our grandchildren – daily.
Do we realize that we are not only royalty, but in the priesthood? 1 Peter 2:9 says: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
We see that we are the children of the King, priests, and ambassadors. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us, We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Royalty, priests, ambassadors! All these are things we take for granted. How many “scandals” have we been involved in that have tarnished the crown?
As we get older, it is so easy for us to fall into the trap the world lays out for us: relax, kick back, you’ve done your duty, now it’s all about you. Go out, have fun, there is nothing that you can pass on to the younger generation that they care about anyway.
While it is always great to be able to have fun (royal parties, dinners, and playdates) with our grandchildren, daily life cannot always be like that. There are much more serious things that we must pass on, such as our knowledge about how to repair things, how to cook, how to relate to others, and so on. But there is something even more important for us to pass down, and that is our knowledge and love of Christ. Without this, we are neglecting our royal, priestly duties. We need to be intently watching for teachable moments and seize them. As grandparents, it is our responsibility to share our God-stories with our grandchildren. We need to open our mouths and share the details of when and where we have been corrected, challenged, and changed.
Just as many of the members of Queen Elizabeth’s line have failed to represent the family well, thereby bringing disgrace upon the Crown, so have we. Christians have listened to the ways of the world and allowed culture to dictate our actions. We have failed to represent our true King as his children and brought disgrace upon him. It’s time to stop neglecting our royal duties. We need to pass along our true heritage to our children and grandchildren in a way that will allow Jesus to be praised and glorified. Let’s truly represent the crown that we have been given, but don’t forget the playdates.