Disciples, Apostles, and Saints!
This past weekend, we had the coronation of King Charles III of England. A day in which many people, all over the world, watched the public spectacle that is more than a mere transfer of power. It is about monarchy, authority, and religion, all rolled into one. And it is a day in which the church consecrates a king, in all of its tradition, opulence, and regalia.
While I have made no attempt to hide my own convictions about the intersection of power, faith, and the state, I do hold a high regard for sovereignty, and the right of a people to exercise their forms the way they do. Charles doesn’t need my permission to be king, in other words.
As many of you know, I went to a Canadian seminary. And part of our work was to lead in all parts of our chapel life together. One of those parts is leading the prayers of the people. And, seeing as it was Canada, I’d usually include a prayer for the (then) Queen. I mean, when in Rome, right? One time, afterward, a professor reminded me “You’re American. She isn’t your Queen. When you lead the prayers, lead them as you.” He further pointed out that we had fought a war about that, after all.
In other words, it isn’t just about my adapting to them, but their adapting to me and what I represent.
This, of course, is the beautiful mess of Anglicanism. Charles isn’t our king. But he is our siblings’ king. And we certainly can like the spectacle as a spectacle. But we can also feel strangely connected to it regardless. Not because it matters in any substantive way, but because it matters to our friends, our people. Which means that it matters to us.