I remember being glued to the television with the rest of the world. We were fascinated and enthralled to watch the pinnacle of this magical fairy tale culminate with forever vows. Without a royal family of our own in America, we were especially curious about the traditions, pomp and circumstance of Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding. Everything about the event, the royals and their formal practices seemed worlds apart from my family’s midwestern middle class life. Assuredly, their world and mine had a great chasm in between! But, oh how fun it was to get this extra special glimpse and to feel like we shared something together, even if it was only an hour through a pixelated screen.
Growing up, we did our best, but I wouldn’t have described anything about my family as extraordinary. We made ends meet, but there was nothing lavish about our lives. We were smart, but at the time, neither of my parents had graduated from college, nor was Mensa actively recruiting us. We had friends, but we wouldn’t have been mistaken as the town mayor’s family. We were kind to others in our path, but we weren’t known for volunteerism. We practiced religious traditions, but we lacked intimate relationship with Jesus. There, too, was another great chasm.
I would have told you then that Jesus was even further beyond the unreachable and unrelatable status of human royals. Seriously…He’s King of all kings. Creator and Ruler of every living thing. There never has been, nor will there ever be anyone greater! I put Him and even the people who “work” for Him in a whole other category, believing that ministers and clergy had special relationships with Him that the rest of us didn’t qualify for. I mean come on, entire careers devoted to Him – surely that earned priority favor and elite status, right?!
So where did that leave me?
On one side of a great gap between my ordinary, non-special life and the sacred space where those holier than me existed. Intimacy with Jesus wasn’t an option I knew of, truly because I believed I wasn’t worthy. There was nothing that could bridge the gap. Or so I thought.
There were three things I didn’t understand…
Jesus is the Bridge
There’s a great divide between a perfect, sinless God and all people (all sinners). Because of God’s holiness, He cannot abide with sin…and because of our human nature, we just can’t stop ourselves from sinning. We simply can’t do enough or remain faultless. It’s impossible and leaves us in need of a Savior.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life inChrist Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
God is our Father, and like any good father, He wants us to come home, no matter what we’ve done. So, He made a way for us to be together that will last for all eternity. He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sin. And through His sacrifice and resurrection, not only did He make amends, but He made us each into a new creation. We are saved by grace, and through faith in Jesus as our Savior, His righteousness is given to us and makes way for our communion with God. Jesus provides a direct path across the great chasm, bridging sinners and their Creator and grafting us into one royal family. And no, you don’t need to work for God, neither vocationally nor through any act of penance. You only need to believe.
If You Believe, You’re Set Apart
In the New Testament, the Greek word, Ekklesia is commonly used for our translated word, “church”. Ekklesia’s Greek definition is “a called-out assembly or congregation”, notably the same as our word, sacred; that is, “called out of the world and set apart for God.”
Scripture makes clear that believers are called to be different. We are not to conform to this world, but rather we are to contrast and stand out, much like salt and light. In fact, (this still kind of blows my mind!), we who believe are actually called “saints”.
To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Corinthians 1:2)
There is no “special status” for those who may wear particular garments or who choose religious careers, or even those who become famous doing great deeds. Of course there is honor in what they do, but every single believer can approach God directly with the same confidence.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Let this soak in…if you are a Christian, your worth and value to God are the same as every other believer. You are just as important, just as precious, just as set apart as every other person with faith in Him. How He uses you is dependent on your willingness, gifting and purpose, which are unique to each of us. But make no mistake, your life is indeed set apart for sacred work.
Opportunities are Everywhere
One of the greatest gifts of salvation in Christ is that we don’t have to wait for Heaven to experience deep relationship with God. Upon placing our faith in Him, we immediately receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who reminds us of God’s truth, helps us in our weakness and gifts us according to our purpose. The equipping helps us to more effectively accomplish God’s will (sacred work!)
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment.And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will see boundless opportunities to love God and love others. They are all around us, because it is all part of God’s plan for you to be where you are, at this time and with the people surrounding you. He has given you everything you need to be close to Him and live life to the fullest and give glory to God.
I think back to my youth when I could visualize this giant gap between God and me. I thought it wasn’t possible to reach Him or relate, and I most certainly didn’t think I was worthy to be adored by Him. What a life-changing revelation it was to learn that although I’ll never be earthly royalty, I am already a daughter of the King. And, if you trust in Jesus, then so are you. Don’t miss it, friends. Receive your royal status, wear your crown and give glory to the King, who loves being your Father!
Lord, we praise You for who You are – the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords. How amazing is your grace, that You love us deeply and forgive us so freely. Thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus to wash us clean and bring us together forever into Your family. You are more than we could ever hope for or dream. Please remind me when I forget – I am Yours, I am sacred and I am royalty because of You.