This year as we leave April behind and move into May we move from one ‘kingly’ celebration to another. April and the Easter season remind us that in terms of Christian theology – Jesus the king of heaven is the king we follow. In May we’ll be celebrating the coronation of King Charles III as the king of our nation, but we will also be celebrating his role as Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Around the country there will be lots of celebrations as the king is crowned. No doubt many of us will be watching the processions and service on the telly. It will, I’m sure, be a regal and wonderful time.
As the coronation follows so closely after Easter I can’t help but think of the two kings and the ceremonies and rituals related to them both: the king of heaven and the king of the United Kingdom.
King Charles III will presumably be welcomed with a great procession displaying all kinds of earthly power. On his arrival into Jerusalem King Jesus was welcomed with palm leaves and cloaks, surrounded by the poor and with no military might.
King Charles III will be wearing the finest robes and a golden crown will be placed upon his head. King Jesus was stripped, his ragged, blood-stained clothes gambled over and a crown of thorns forced onto his head.
King Charles III’s coronation will take place in the grand and wonderful Westminster Abbey beside a throne. King Jesus’ ‘coronation’ took place above the city dump on a hill called ‘Skull’. His throne was a cross.
To celebrate King Charles III coronation there will be a special concert at Windsor castle. After King Jesus’ ‘coronation’ his body was taken away in the dead of night and placed in a borrowed tomb.
Two very different coronations for two very different reasons. We give thanks to God for King Jesus who died that we might have life. And we give thanks to God for King Charles III and pray that through his life and service he might in some way bear witness to God’s loving mercy.