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Monday, May 4, 2015

A Princess Is Born

Kensington Palace made the announcement last Saturday: “Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a daughter at 8:34 am.  The baby weighs 8 lbs 3 oz.” It was a typical British announcement with little more flair than the weigh-in of jockeys at the Kentucky Derby.  But Prince William and Kate beamed with joy when, seven hours later, they presented their newborn daughter to the world. 

When Prince William married Kate Middleton four years ago it was a storybook wedding.  Two billion people watched. Since that time, the Royal couple has charmed the nations with their world-wide tours.  Now they have enchanted us with their children, Prince George and his little sister, the Princess, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.  Keeping with British tradition, William and Kate did not announce her name until Monday afternoon.

Part of our attraction to William, Kate and their children is our fascination with celebrities. But, in this case, even celebrities stand in awe, overshadowed by the traditions of royalty.  We are moved by something deeper than celebrity worship.  The core attraction of the royal family is just that: family.

In our scientific and antiseptic world we are sometimes in danger of reducing human life to the mundane, the clinically predictable.  But the birth of a Princess somehow draws us back to celebrate the majesty and the mystery of birth and life: the natural result of a man and a woman committed to one another in matrimony.

We are each born of a mother and a father, which does not mean that we all know our fathers and mothers.  Parents are not always married, and in some cases, such as artificial insemination, they never even know one another.  But, the fact of the matter is, we are all conceived, fashioned and formed by the mystical union of male and female. 

It has been so since the beginning.  Genesis states, “ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’” (Genesis 1:27,28)

Sooner or later most of us want to know our lineage.  Where did we come from?  Who were our parents, and who were their parents? What mysterious mix of ethnicities and nationalities went together to produce … well … us?   

None of us is elected or engineered to be who we are.  Britain’s new Princess is who she is by birth and by choice. She is born a Princess because Prince William chose Kate Middleton to be his bride. And she is born a Princess because she is the daughter of their union.

In a similar way, we are all born because God chose us and gave us birth.  In Isaiah, God says, “You who have been borne by Me from birth, and have been carried from the womb; even to your old age, I will be the same, and even to your graying years I shall bear you!  I have done it, and I shall carry you; and I shall bear you, and I shall deliver you.”  (Isaiah 46:3-4).

Peter writes, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.” (1 Peter 2:9).  Jesus said, “You did not choose me but I chose you.”  (1 John 15:9).   

On this coming Sunday, as we celebrate Mothers’ Day, perhaps a newborn Princess will remind us who we are.  

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