What do you give to a king who has everything?
A few years ago, during a trip to London, my daughters and I visited the Tower of London and made the compulsory tourist stop to see the Crown Jewels. This impressive collection features royal crowns, mantles, scepters, anointing spoons, and other coronation accoutrements from the past 900 years.
Many of the pieces were originally given as gifts to the royal family, including the First Star of Africa, mounted atop the Sovereign’s Scepter. It is the largest flawless cut diamond in the world which, along with the Second Star of Africa on the Imperial State Crown, was cut from the Cullinan Diamond, the largest diamond ever found. They were given to King Edward VII by the government of South Africa in 1907.
Kinda puts that wedding toaster in perspective, huh?
Lest you think that royal gifts are all glitz and glamour, here are some other, more mundane gifts that Queen Elizabeth II was given during her long reign. According to the official website of the British Monarchy, Her Majesty also received lacrosse sticks, sunglasses, a pair of sandals, pineapples, eggs, a box of snail shells, a grove of maple trees, a dozen tins of tuna, and seven kilograms of giant shrimp.
Now, that’s more like it.
I have royal gifts on my mind, given that this weekend is the convergence of several important observances: it is Christ the King Sunday, the culminating day of the Christian liturgical year, in which we celebrate the present and future reign of Jesus Christ. It is also our Commitment Sunday, when we will be bringing forward our estimate of giving cards, giving our best offering to God in support of the ministries of this church. It is also our annual SERVE Day, when hundreds of us will volunteer with Metropolitan Ministries under their Holiday Tent, to process and distribute food for needy families in our area.
So, if you put it all together – gratitude, gift-giving, royalty, and celebration – it leads us back to the original question: What gift do you give to a King?
In the coming weeks, as we shift our minds toward Christmas and begin tackling our gift lists for others, here’s a thought: Maybe the best gifts to give are not the ones that will break, be outgrown, or go out of style. Instead, how about giving the gift of love, compassion, and care?
That would be a gift worthy of royalty, a gift worthy of Christ the King.
Have a blessed Sunday!