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Garnett Reid

intersect: the king thing

Thoughts of Christmas Inspired by a Holiday in the United Kingdom


INTERSECT (Where the Bible Meets Life) is a regular column of ONE Magazine featuring Dr. Garnett Reid, a member of the Bible faculty at Free Will Baptist Bible College. Email Garnett

When the King of Kings invaded the world on the first Christmas, very few people knew about it. Oh, the pieces of the puzzle were all out on the table: prophecies about Him, wise men with royal-type gifts, David’s family connections, announcements about a throne, and more. Read the first two chapters of Matthew and Luke. You’ll see them. Not many onlookers back then put the pieces together, though.


On Holiday in the Kingdom—The United Kingdom
Yet the birth of Jesus was a royal event! A king like no other had slipped into our dimension. I confess that the impact of all things royal is lost on me; monarchs are just not my cup of tea. Kings and queens and crowns and palaces just don’t resonate with this boomer child of the modern American south.

However, I do understand much more of monarchial matters thanks to a recent visit—er, holiday, as they say—in the U. K. It’s one thing to read about William the Conqueror, Richard the Lionhearted, Henry the Eighth, Victoria, Charles (pick a number), Diana, William, Harry, even Camilla in books and newspapers. Yet I must admit that the castles, armor, and jewels are impressive when one is actually in the “realm” and among flesh and blood royal subjects.





Real Royalty

To be sure, the British monarchy isn ’t what it once was. Do keep in mind, though, that I speak as a lad who grew up not in an East Sussex village but in an East Nashville ’hood. I’ve never seen a king—unless you count Roy Acuff or Arnold Palmer, “kings” of country music and golf, respectively.

As grand as all the trappings of British royalty are when seen firsthand, nothing compares to the glory of King Jesus. Here are six differences I noted in reflecting on our U. K. holiday.


  1. Start of Reign—Westminster Abbey has hosted the coronation of every English king from the time of William the Conqueror in 1066. Newly crowned monarchs have occupied the Abbey’s coronation chair upon their investiture since 1300. But Jesus’ reign had no point of origin. He has existed and will exist throughout eternity as King of Kings. “Glorify me with the glory that I had with you before the world existed,” He asks the Father in John 17:5.

  2. End of Reign—Our U. K. visit took us to cathedrals and cemeteries filled with royal crypts. At St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, Henry the Eighth’s tomb lies beneath the choir aisle, of all things. The reign of Christ, however, is without an end. He died and was buried once, but is “alive forevermore” (Rev. 1:18), ruling “a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Heb. 12:28).

  3. Glory on Display—The Tower of London houses the Crown Jewels—diamond-encrusted crowns, scepters, swords, and the like. Jesus displays His glory not in glass cases but throughout a designer-made universe formed by His own word (Ps. 19:1) and redeemed by the glorious gospel of grace (2 Cor. 4:4; John 1:14).

  4. Threats to Power—While British monarchs depend on the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards for protection, the Lord Christ lives and reigns without threat in His absolute supremacy. “No one takes (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord,” He affirms in John 10:18.

  5. Character Issues—Despite the honorable image of royalty, rulers have sometimes lived less than stellar lives. Henry the Eighth’s and Mary the First’s (“bloody Mary”) misdeeds come to mind. By contrast, King Jesus is holy, innocent, and without sin’s stain (Heb. 7:26).

  6. Limits of Power—At Salisbury Cathedral we closely examined one of only four copies of the Magna Carta. Signed in 1215 by King John, the document began the efforts of the common people to limit the often arbitrary powers of the king. Yet Christ’s power knows no limitations at all. He “upholds all things by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3).


I have a different mindset as I approach the Advent season this year. I plan to look more closely at the infant Jesus for royal reminders of His reign in my life. Christ is the King. Be sure He is your King.


About the Writer: Dr. Garnett Reid is a member of the Bible faculty at Free Will Baptist Bible College.



©2007 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists