EFFIGIES and MARKERS

Friday, September 19, 2008

Born to the purple

by Christy K. Robinson

I’m descended from the “greats:” French, Spanish, Nordic, Scottish, and Flemish royalty; Charlemagne of the Franks; the Saxon King Cerdic; Brian Boru of Ireland, Alfred the Great of England; Rhodri Mawr, Hywel Dda, and Llywelyn Fawr of Wales; William the Conqueror and many Norman earls; Eleanor of Aquitaine (Queen of France and England), and the Angevin and Plantagenet kings of England until 1350. Plus all the royal families they married into and not a few canonized saints!

Genealogy is fascinating because knowing my ancestors literally puts a face on dry, dusty history. My ten- by six-foot pedigree chart has photos of ancestors’ statues and tomb effigies. King John, a “monster of iniquity,” was forced by my other ancestors to sign the Magna Carta, an enormously influential document in democratic societies. Reverend Samuel Stone was a founder of Hartford, Connecticut, and his 1663 tombstone says that he was New England’s “greatest jewel.” Mary Barrett Dyer, a Quaker missionary whose monument faces the Boston Common, was hanged by Puritans for obeying the gospel commission.

With all those “great” genes in my chemistry (even though diluted by the years), I should be Superwoman, accept curtsies, or at least crook my finger when I drink tea. None of that matters, though.

‘If you want to claim credit, claim it for God.’ What you say about yourself means nothing in God’s work. It’s what God says about you that makes the difference. 2 Corinthians 10:17, 18 MSG.

God said that Abraham was His friend, that David was a man after God’s own heart, and that John the Baptist was the greatest man ever born. God’s loving accolades are a mantle of purple!
No matter who we are descended from—peasant, emperor, exemplary, or infamous—you and I start fresh with the Lord, every day.

What will He say of you in the judgment? That you were a church pianist, preached an excellent sermon, were honest on the tax forms, gave correct change to your customers? Actually, He will say something like, “Because you loved your neighbors wholeheartedly, visiting and clothing and feeding them, you have shown yourself to be like Me. Enter into joy!” Matthew 25:40.

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