Sunday, February 15, 2009

and the kingdom will have a king again

I just finished The Amber Spyglass (last of Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy) and it prompted a few thoughts. What the conclusion of these thoughts are I'm not sure, but I thought I'd share them anyway. That way maybe they'd stop rolling randomly around in my head.
I just found the whole idea of tearing down the Kingdom of Heaven so they could build the Republic of Heaven very intriguing. When they were making the film travesty of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe one of the advertising phrases was "long live the true king." I remember being struck by the thought of how many good stories there are which have the theme of putting the rightful king into place.
It's an interesting thing to think of in our modern society which is based on the idea of The Republic, and democracy, and government for the people, by the people, and of the people. But the fact is you can't have a king unless he is acknowledged by his subjects. If that weren't true we wouldn't have stories like Robin Hood and Prince John and King Richard. Or maybe it is more accurate to say that you can't have a true king without the acknowledgement of his subjects.
There is something very powerful in the idea of a true king. Of a noble king. Of a self-sacrificing king. A story that illustrates this very well is Stephen Lawhead's Song of Albion series. It is based on the Celtic ways of kingship. A king whose role is simply and complexly to serve his people.
It is very interesting to think that we are meant to bring not the republic of heaven, but the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. I think there is a lot more to be explored here about the difference between being a citizen of a republic and a citizen of a kingdom. At least we know this, we serve the truest of all true kings.

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