In the Presence of Royalty
How do you act in the presence of a queen or the King of Kings?
Once in our nation’s capital of Washington D.C., a woman welcomed Queen Elizabeth II into her home in a warm and beautiful way. She gave her a hug. This simple gesture made headlines around the world because British protocol forbids commoners from touching a monarch. The queen, accompanied by the Mayor of D.C., Sharon Dixon, and other dignitaries, had visited 67-year-old retiree Alice Frazier's home. No one had explained to Alice that you do not hug a Queen. Thankfully, the Queen was gracious and not upset–just surprised.
I don't think I will ever be in the presence of a queen or king so that I could offer the hospitality of a hug, but I have thought about being in the presence of God. Not that I deserve to be, but what if it happened?
As a young businessman, I thought I might approach God, stick out my hand and say, “thank you, Sir, for my life, my family and Your many gifts.” Now, as a much older—and I hope wiser—man, I would fall on my knees, bow my head, wait for further instruction and probably think of excuses I might have to make. Yet the reality of this imaginary picture is that if I made it to heaven, it would have been by the grace of God and the price of forgiveness paid by Jesus on the cross. No excuses necessary.
On the subject of being in the presence of God, Isaiah 6:1-8 describes how Isaiah "…saw The Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne, and the train of his robe filled the temple…" and he witnessed angels flying over his head calling to one another, "'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord almighty…' and the Temple was filled with smoke." Isaiah’s response? "Woe to me! … For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty." Yet knowing he was unworthy, God atoned for his sin and Isaiah volunteered to be a prophet to God's people. Even though God’s presence is holy ground and we are unworthy of it, He meets with us, forgives our sin and you never know what He might have in mind for us as a result of that holy encounter.
May the peace of God, which passeth all understanding keep your heart and mind in the knowledge and love of God and of his son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be with you, and remain with you always. Amen. (BCP, p.339)