The world learned today that the United Kingdom’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child. Assuming that Kate and the baby remain healthy – and that the child survives to adulthood – he or she will likely become the future King or Queen of England.
Though most people will never experience the kind of earthly wealth, prestige or fame that will someday be lavished upon Kate and William’s offspring, we rejoiced with the royals upon hearing of their happy news. Millions took to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a host of other social media outlets to express their sincere best wishes for the couple.
As I pondered the real-life courtship and fairytale wedding that led to William and Kate’s announcement today, I recalled the import of another royal birth over 2,000 years ago – an event devoid of all semblance of pomp and circumstance.
When Mary, the future mother of the King of Kings – and her husband, Joseph, the future surrogate father of the Lord of Lords – entered the city of Bethlehem over two millennia ago, they sought nothing more than humble accommodations at a series of small, local inns. Denied entry at even the poorest of motels, they secured lodging, instead, in a stable otherwise reserved for livestock. Having given birth, Mary laid the precious Alpha and Omega in a manger – a feed trough for the domestic animals that called the stable home.
With the exception of the three wise men from the east who sought an opportunity to worship the Royal Baby – and to offer a thoughtful array of gifts – only a few lowly shepherds “glorif[ied] and praise[d] God for all that they had heard and seen” (Luke 2:20) of the extraordinary infant. Soon after the Prince of Peace’s birth, in fact, Herod the king dispatched men to kill all males under the age of two in the area in an effort to destroy the true Heir to the Throne. Forced to seek refuge in Egypt, the Royal Family remained in exile until Herod’s death.
In the succeeding years, the man Christ Jesus never dwelt in the lap of luxury, never acquired significant wealth, and never pursued the trappings of fame. Though he stood before the great and the small – and though he healed the sick, raised the dead, taught and fed the multitudes, and performed a host of miracles – the Bible says that the Son of Man “ha[d] nowhere to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
So, while we watch for the beautiful Duchess of Cambridge’s eventual re-emergence into society – and giddily engage in the inevitable “baby bump” chatter – let’s remain mindful of the following scripture:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Blessings to you and yours throughout the Holiday Season!