You might have missed what could have been the biggext news story of the past week. With the discovery of the so-called God particle, Andy Murray’s brave attempt to win Wimbledon and a crisis in the financial sector that seems to escalate daily, it’s not surprising that you missed this one. The story? The real king of England died last week.
Michael Abney-Hastings, who lived in a little town called Jerilderie in Australia was apparently the real king of England. Back in 2004, Tony Robinson aka Baldrick, made a documentary based on evidence gathered by a mediaeval scholar from Glasgow university which purported to prove that Richard III’s son Edward IV was conceived illegitimately and therefore the monarch should have been passed to the Duke of Clarence, and Mike Hastings is a direct descendant and therefore rightful heir to the throne.
When Tony Robinson and his team visited Hastings in 2004, they found that he was blissfully unaware of his prestigious heritage and potential claim to the throne.
It’s a fascinating story of what might have been. King Mike had no clue that he really was King Mike – or at least potentially King Mike.
Knowing who we are and remembering who we are is so important.
Peter says in his first letter:
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2.9-10
Our identity is established by God through the finished work of Christ. We have been called both to know God and to represent God in this world. The enemy will try to dispute our claims and we might even allow our circumstances and experiences of life to try and convince us otherwise, but we can trace our heritage back to and through Jesus.
The late Henri Nouwen once remarked “One of the great tragedies of life is that we keep forgetting who we are.”
Let’s not forget who we are. Let’s keep reminding ourselves:
3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. Ephesians 1.3-6 (The Message)
That’s the real story of the week.