Tonight as I watched a report on the insanely popular series “A Game of Thrones,” I couldn’t help but notice the contrast between royalty as portrayed there and royalty as celebrated on Palm Sunday.
Jesus Christ was – is – a different kind of royalty, to say the least.
Today in church we recalled His riding into Jerusalem as triumphant King on a donkey. We spoke of how the peace this Prince of Peace brings is not one brought out of unholy alliances but one that is true, eternal, never to be defeated by the petty monarchs of this world. We remembered how He spoke of how his kingdom is not of this world and we set the stage for this Holy Week’s celebration of how all that unfolded in the most amazing of ways via a crucifixion.
All this challenges us to take seriously how the King of Kings and Lord of Lords calls us to be different too.
We are to be in the world, but not of it.
We are to stand firm against evil, yet compassionately love others.
We are to walk the straight and narrow path of the righteous, without becoming self-righteous in the process.
We are to “take up our cross daily” without complaint.
It’s a challenging, demanding, but ultimately fulfilling and life-giving path.
We are to follow Jesus to Jerusalem to Golgotha to the empty tomb to the Ascension – to become as those who are empowered by the Spirit of God to be the people of God.
In it all, we follow heavenly royalty that is anything but the kind of king we see too often celebrated by popular culture.
Contrary to what some would say, it is not the stuff of fantasy. Life doesn’t get any more real than this and the only dragon in sight is the devil, defeated, once and for all.
Now that’s a story worth watching.