Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor is now part of the royal line of succession. She was born seven weeks ago to Meghan Markel and Prince Harry, but the royal website was updated to include her in the succession line only today (July 26).
This is not the first time a member of the royal family was added to the royal line of succession in a less than timely fashion. Meghan and Harry’s son Archie was reportedly added two weeks after his birth as well. When Prince William and Kate Middleton’s third child was born, his name was added to the list twelve days later. However, when royals Zara and Mike Tindall’s son Lucas was born in March of this year, his name was added immediately.
I would qualify as an Anglophile: I have made numerous trips to the UK over the years, taught doctoral seminars for Dallas Baptist University at Oxford University, toured most of the historic sites in the British Isles, and wrote my doctoral dissertation on an Anglican philosopher. However, none of my British activities are enough to gain me admission to the British royal family or line of succession.
I could do more—I could move to the UK, perhaps get a job at the royal palace, and perhaps even get to know some of the royal family. But none of that would be enough. Since I was not born into royalty, I will never be inducted into royalty.
This is a cultural parable as well as a fact of British governance. Unlike the royal family and its succession lines, you and I are judged in our society by our performance, popularity, and possessions. The more we have and do, the more valuable we are thought to be.
This is in part the inevitable result of living in a consumer-based, free market economy. We are paid to add value. From grades in school to evaluations at work, we are measured every day by what we do each day.
It is understandable that we would see ourselves in the same way. A counselor once shared with me this maxim: “I am not who I think I am. I am not who you think I am. I am who I think you think I am.”
Jesus offers us a better way. When we ask him to forgive our sins and become our Savior and Lord, he makes us the children of God (John 1:12). In that moment, we join the most royal of all royal families. In fact, God’s word says of us, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession” (1 Peter 2:9).
If Jesus is your Lord, there is nothing you must do to earn your position in God’s royal family and nothing you can do to forfeit it. But there is something you can do in gratitude for such grace—you can share that grace with someone else.
Every person you know is either in God’s family or should be. Every person you influence who does not know Jesus knows one of his followers—you. You cannot pay back the grace of God, but you can pay it forward.
I once saw on a church’s website this mission statement: Helping everyone take their next step with God.
Let’s make this our mission statement today, to the glory of God.