A Greater Crown
“so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11
Today, a tiny virus is humbling the world. The powerful of humanity are discovering that something microscopic can bring them to their knees. We are not in control, nor do we presently have the resources to resist the power of this microscopic adversary.
It is interesting to me that this new disease has been identified as the “Corona Virus”. It is shaped like a crown and “corona” comes from the Latin word for crown. The kingdom associated with this corona, this crown, is devastating the security of the kingdoms of humanity. We are all vulnerable, we are all susceptible and there are no adequate human weapons at this time with which to fight back. All we can do is to retreat behind high walls and isolate, so as to neither infect or be infected.
In Lent we watch Jesus enter with love a world weary with the infection of sin and wear an unexpected, humiliating crown of thorns. It is another crown, a crown that will bring all the powers of darkness to their knees, but it is a different crown than one might expect. It is a crown associated with humility and vulnerability rather than human power and high position. It is, like the Corona virus, the unexpected and seemingly insignificant crown that will bring all other kingdoms to their knees, both the kingdoms of nations and the kingdoms of human hearts. It is an even greater kingdom, a crown even more powerful than the present Corona virus, or any human crown. And yet it comes in humility and vulnerability to love the world, to heal the world, to save the world—to infect the world with the grace, goodness and the love of God so that the world might be changed into the glory for which it was intended. We turn to Jesus, the king wearing a crown of thorns, the symbol of humility, vulnerability and sacrifice, and cry for mercy. We are called to follow in the way of Jesus which is characterized by humility, vulnerability and sacrifice. For it is through His humility, weakness and ultimate sacrifice that He brings the power of the Almighty God to bear on all of life.
In this time of growing anxiety, when our security and peace are threatened, may we reflect again on the crown of thorns that Jesus humbly wears symbolizing the power of the cross to overcome all other kingdoms, powers and authority. May we surrender again this day, laying before Jesus all other crowns of power and authority, so that we might fully realize and generously share the love, grace and abundant gifts of His Kingdom. May we follow in the counter-intuitive way of Jesus humbly, vulnerably and with sacrifice as we walk in this world. Here is a song to aid in your reflection.