Sunday, June 3, 2012

We All Wear Crowns of Tragic Splendor

This weekend the people of England celebrated the Silver Anniversary (60 Years) of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. She became queen at the age of 25 back in 1953. Below is something that C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter (Letters, 3:343) to a friend at that time about the 1953 coronation, something that has a relevance for all Christians.
You know, over here people did not get that fairy-tale feeling about the coronation. What impressed most who saw it was the fact that the Queen herself appeared to be quite overwhelmed by the sacramental side of it. Hence, in the spectators, a feeling of (one hardly knows how to describe it) — awe — pity — pathos — mystery.
The pressing of that huge, heavy crown on that small, young head becomes a sort of symbol of the situation of humanity itself: humanity called by God to be His vice-regent and high priest on earth, yet feeling so inadequate. As if He said, ‘In my inexorable love I shall lay upon the dust that you are glories and dangers and responsibilities beyond your understanding.’
Do you see what I mean? One has missed the whole point unless one feels that we have all been crowned and that coronation is somehow, if splendid, a tragic splendor.
Hat Tip: Desiring God