There’s something about the Duchess of Cambridge that has enthralled the masses. She’s beautiful, poised, and has an admirable sense of style. She’s great with children and foreign dignitaries. She carries the title she’s been given with grace and dignity.
A big part of our fascination with the woman formerly known as Kate Middleton is her ascent from “commoner” to holding a position in the royal family. Her story is a real life fairy tale, and I believe there’s a much deeper reason why her life speaks so strongly to our hearts.
The thing that elevated Kate from commoner to royalty is simple: William loved her. Without his love and decision to marry her, Kate would have always been a commoner. Kate probably had good character before she met William. Her personality didn’t change when her position did. Her characteristics and potential were always engrained in her, but she did not have the power to elevate her position on her own. The relationship she had with the prince eventually raised her up and bestowed upon her a new title, which came with a new level of honor and dignity. Kate certainly occupies her new position well, but she wouldn’t be where she is today except for her husband.
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” – Revelation 21:2
The church (or new Jerusalem, as it’s referred to above) is the Bride of Christ. What Jesus has done for us is very similar to what William did for Kate. The Son of God – God himself, God in flesh – chose us as his wife. Without God, we are simply common and ordinary. Our potential is always there, buried somewhere inside. Without his love for us, we remain as we are. But our relationship with him elevates our position. His decision raises us to a position of rulership and authority that we do not have on our own.
That’s the mystery of the bride and the church: Almighty God, the one who rules over heaven and earth, calls us his bride. Not just his subjects. Not just his friends. Not just respected members of the royal court. Not even just his children. We are his bride. On our own, we have no power, no authority, and no honor, but we have been called to reign with God as equals, by his side. It is only by his great love and mercy that such a miracle is attainable.
I know that the statement I’m making could easily be misunderstood, so let me take a moment to explain the difference between our rulership and God’s. God’s position as ruler over all wasn’t granted to him: it just is. He has always been in this place of authority, and he always will be. His position just is, while our position is granted by him, as a gift. Even though he raises us to be rulers with him, we are absolutely dependent on him for our power and position, while he depends on us for nothing. But the revelation of the equality with which he treats us, by his decisions, is what will help us truly understand our identity in Christ.