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Abdicating the throne

February 29, 2016

A while ago I went to see the movie The King’s Speech and found not only the story, but the historical context, fascinating (though the language is bad). King George VI only became the king because in 1936 his brother, Edward VIII abdicated. He abdicated in order to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. It created quite a stir. Never before had an English monarch voluntarily given up the throne. There had been a couple of abdications before this, but they had been caused by wars. Never before had an abdication been caused by love (which is actually very romantic, but not my point here).

Edward had lived his life expecting to be king. He was 16 when his own father became king and he took on the responsibilities associated with being an heir with great enthusiasm. Edward was 36-years-old when he met Wallis Simpson in 1930. She wasn’t held in high regard, whether because she had been married twice or due to genuine concerns about her political preferences seems unclear. Neither was she Edward’s first love. Still it was for her, with great reluctance, he gave up the throne. There is no indication there was any other motive. Edward gave up the role he had spent his whole life training for, to marry the woman he loved. In giving up the throne it also meant he would have to submit to another king. Perhaps this was too much, even for Edward. After the abdication he never again lived in England for any length of time.

If we claim Jesus is Lord of our lives, it means we have abdicated control, but unlike Edward we do submit to the new King. We surrendered the ruling of our lives to Jesus, and we do so in response to his great sacrificial love for us. Jesus could rightfully claim his ownership of our lives, but he has given us the choice because true love doesn’t coerce.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith