One of the biggest world events of 2011 was the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The world was captivated as the future king and queen of this great country were wedded last April. After all, it's not every day that a crown prince weds a fairy tale princess. The last time it happened at this level was when William's parents, Prince Charles wed Lady Diana decades earlier.
William's entire life has been orchestrated and scrutinized. Every step has been preparation for the day he will become the King of England. His education, how he was parented, his exposure to world events, his military training... everything... has been to groom him as a King In our modern world, his kingship will be largely ceremonial. But this has not kept every detail of his life from being carefully watched and orchestrated. He is, after all, royalty! He's been treated in every way as someone... and something... special.
Let's compare the grooming of William to that of another prince, this one of much greater importance and born over 2,000 years ago.
This prince was born under totally different circumstances. His birth had been predicted at least 800 years before it happened, yet it was not publically announced when it actually happened. That's not entirely true. The announcement did not make all the headlines. Instead, it was announced to a bunch of lowly shepherds while they were at work. There were also some magi, astrologers or wise men, who knew from their readings of ancient manuscripts that a king was to be born.
William was born to royal parents who provided him a very privileged life. When the birth was announced, gifts of all sorts were sent from around the world. Why, it even made the cover of People magazine! The earlier future king was born to disgraced, poverty-stricken parents. He was born in a barn, not a fancy hospital. In his first few days, the only gifts he received were music and adoration from that ragged band of shepherds.
William attended the finest of private schools. The earlier prince attended the school of hard knocks. While William experienced the finest things of life, the other boy experienced poverty, hard physical work, ridicule and all of the trials of the down-trodden. Their lives could not have been much more opposite. Yet both were being groomed for their kingships.
One day, William will be king of a mighty nation. Although largely ceremonial today, he will still be a head of state. He will need to know protocol, serve as a role model, stand up under the constant watch of the public.
Jesus is a King today. He is King of a kingdom that will last much longer and reach much further than even the mighty British Empire at its greatest. William is groomed to be a ceremonial head of state. Jesus was groomed, through a life He chose, to be a working, hands-on King. Jesus experienced exactly the kinks of things needed to reign over a kingdom of love, caring for those in need and showing the meaning of peace.
The amazing thing is that Jesus could have lived a childhood that far surpassed the riches and privileges of William. Just as William has been groomed for the kingship he will hold, through His childhood in poverty and oppression Jesus was groomed to be the exact kind of King the world needs – Prince of Peace, Light of the World and Eternal King of the Kingdom of God!