Does he have a crown on his Christmas wish list?
It was 100 years ago – in July of 1918 – when Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed in Yekaterinburg, Russia by Bolshevik revolutionaries. Though he had abdicated his throne a year earlier, the group that would later become the Communist Party in Russia wanted to assure that there would be no chance of his return from exile and return to power.
There is momentum afoot in Russia to rekindle the monarchy. A conference was held outside Moscow recently – attended by hundreds of the country’s top political leaders and Russian Orthodox priests – where the dream of restoring the throne once held by the Romanoff blood line was the focus. The movement – called the Double-Headed Eagle group (from Russia’s coat-of-arms) – is clear about their dream. Andrey Afanasiev, an on-air personality for a radio station dedicated to the state church, says: “What has Russia done in the last 30 years? It has resurrected an empire and chosen an emperor (Putin).” In a conversation with Lt. Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov last year, Mr. Putin described the idea of a return to monarchy as “beautiful.” With his current term as president set to end in 2024, plans for his future – beyond term limits – are timely…
In the United Kingdom, Prince Harry – who is fifth in line to the British throne – has said that he does not think anyone in the royal family wants to be king or queen, but that the family of Queen Elizabeth II will carry on the succession out of a sense of duty. “We’re involved in modernizing the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people. Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.” (from an interview with Newsweek, June, 2017).
There’s no consternation that competes with distaste for government. A population that is out-of-sorts with their rulers will spin out of control quickly. This year, “Christmas in Paris” has dropped out of favor for the international elite community as the protests by the Yellow Jackets over gas taxes has created an inferno that is now burning on the streets of the French capital. President Macron is trying to quell the conflict, but there are constitutional limits. If only he were the king…
In the heart of every person there is a foundational conclusion they must reach: are they rebels against all authority?, or, are they simply awaiting the right authority? Would a legitimate sovereign with integrity command their respect and loyalty? The cynicism from life and history has numbed many to the possibility that someone with integrity could ever be found to assume absolute power. Term limits are the governor on governments: hope inaugurates, but, then, experience impeaches. The revolving door of reality nominates candidates who promise to make dreams come true but whose fallen nature then becomes their operative dysfunction. Will anyone – ever – measure up?
You’ll hear the story retold in the next few days: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ When King Herod heard this he was disturbed… On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.” (Matthew 2:1-3, 11)
Nearly 1000 years earlier, King Solomon had written about the future Messiah: “May he rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. May the desert tribes bow before him and his enemies lick the dust. May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores bring tribute to him. May the kings of Sheba and Seba present him gifts. May all kings bow down to him and all nations serve him.” (Psalm 72:8-11).
People are still looking for a king worthy of their adoration. Russians are flirting with Czar Vladimir; Brits have a symbolic sovereign who lacks governmental punch; Americans hope to find their messiah every four years. The longing remains unsatiated; it elevates the hope of Christmas above any other holiday, around the world.
The King came to set his monarchy among men in motion, 2000 years ago. He’ll be back in the future (soon?) for his final victory and the establishment of his everlasting reign. As the angel told Mary, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33).