Will You Lay Aside Your Crown? | Philippians 2

Welcome to Real Life. A recent sermon reminded me of a question.

We can't all be princesses.
Someone has to clap when I walk by.
-Anonymous

Little girls often dream of becoming a princess. A few years ago, we encouraged women to embrace their identity as princesses by attending our Daughters of the King Retreat. In preparation for the event, I was preparing a devotional for a committee meeting. I fell asleep asking God what he wanted to say to these women. The next morning, I awoke with a question on my mind. 

Will you lay aside your crown? 

Retreats provide a much-needed break from responsibilities, as well as an opportunity to rest, have fun, and draw near to God. At this retreat, we sought to pamper the women like princesses. We decorated with jeweled, satin pillows, and crowns; each woman received a tiara; and a princess greeted attendees (photo below). Although we, the committee, are also daughter-of-the-King princesses, we didn't attend expecting to be pampered. We had work to do: decorating and set-up, registration, hospitality suite, prayer room, clean-up, and so on. Of course, we also had fun! However, Jesus was asking the committee, as daughters of the King, “Will you lay aside your crowns?” 




Princess Kathy


Daughters of the King Retreat

A couple Sundays ago, Pastor Joel[1] set a ladder next to the podium as he preached. As people of faith, we often strive to climb higher, be better, and do more to win God’s love and approval. When the amazing truth is God loves us. He always has. He always will. We don’t need to earn it by good behavior. Rather, his love motivates us to live a godly life. 

When Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, he climbed down the ladder to us. Jesus laid aside his crown. To lay aside our crowns is to emulate Jesus' attitude. Though he walked this earth as God incarnate, he did not demand divine privileges. He did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for you and me.  

We live in a performance-driven world. We strive to reach the highest rungs on the ladder of success so others will serve us. As daughters and sons of the King, will we follow his example? Will we turn around, climb down, and humbly serve? Will you lay aside your crown?

For the retreat committee, laying aside our crowns meant serving to bless others. How can you and I lay aside our crowns today? Cook, clean, serve our family. Stay awake with a sick child. Care for an aging loved one. Disinfect. Wear a mask. Take a meal. Pray. Volunteer in the church nursery. Encourage. Call a lonely friend.

“Will you lay aside your crown?” Jesus asks. Because in his kingdom of love and light, the last will be first. And the greatest among us shall be the servant of all.[2]

Dear Lord,
Thank you for laying aside your crown
And coming down to save us.
We love you, Lord.
And we want to be like you.
Though it’s difficult and counter-cultural
Give us humble hearts that love to serve
And hearts that serve in love.
So that our family, neighbors, and friends
See you, Jesus Christ, in us. Amen.



Take it further. Read Philippians 2:5–11 (NLT):

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. 

Pastor Joel Bubna's Sermon, The Road to Love Leads Down


[1] Pastor Joel Bubna, Grace Christian and Missionary Church, North Olmsted Campus (www.gracecma.org
[2] Mark 9:35

Comments

  1. SO much to think about here...I LOVE the opening quote. Sassy. Here's what really intrigues me: I know devoted Christians who refuse to wear masks in the name of Christ and devoted Christians who espouse them. Both sides think they're serving God. Nothing new under the sun, right?

    And everyone has a different struggle. Some women are so down and dirty washing feet and/or beating themselves up, they aren't able to see their crowns, much less take them off. This is a great reminder of the importance of being meek and humble. In a world where opinions are strong, a dose of humility is in order for all of us. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kelly, you bring up so many good points!
      Everyone does have a different struggle. We all need to embrace our identity as daughters and sons of the King--especially the down and dirty who feel least deserving. They're in the "last will be first" in group! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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