Anglican Morning Devotion for 29 July 2021 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 29And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.” (Matthew 27:27-3; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
For every rose, there must be a thorn; and likewise for every crown of the righteous. Our Lord counseled His disciples to take up their cross daily and follow Him. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) This counsel of our Lord sticks in the craw, like the gnats of the Pharisees, sticks in the craw of the modern, name-it-and-claim-it church. They will go many furlongs abroad to avoid addressing the matter. But the life of our Lord was one of sacrifice borne on the wings of Love. He expects no less of those who follow – not just to the shores of Galilee, not just to Bethany or to the coasts of Tyre – but to Calvary and the borrowed Tomb. Then shall we be privileged to share in that resurrection of our Lord.
There are seven crowns of which I will remind the reader in this short devotion;
- The Crown of Thorns – This is the tortuous crown that our Lord wore on His bloodied brow on the cross at Calvary. This was the crown of the curse of sin. (see Matthew 27:29) All who would seek to follow Christ must likewise suffer the slings and arrows of the wrathful serpent and enemy of our souls. Every thorn of the Lord’s Crown on the cross was replaced with crowns of glory in His Father’s Kingdom: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.” (Revelation 19:11-12)
- The Crown of Gold – Gold is highest reward in crowns. But too many seek rewards for serving the Lord instead of the joy and privilege of glorifying His Name. “The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! 2Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah. 3For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.” (Psalms 21:1-3)
- Crown of Life – for those who have endured temptation and held strong in faith – “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12)
- The Crown of Incorruptibility – This is the crown of temperance in things acceptable to God unlike men who seek after the rewards of Mammon: “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” (1 Corinthians 9:25)
- The Crown of Righteousness – Those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ will joy in His appearing: “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)
- Crown of Rejoicing – Those who have brought souls to Christ as did St. Andrew will rejoice with the angels at every soul brought forth to victory – “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.”
“1 Thessalonians 2:19-20)
- The Crown of Glory – Those who have shared little of the Gospel of Christ with others may be ashamed at their dim lights in Heaven: “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)
Will there be any stars of light in YOUR crown, or will your crown be simply made of dog’s hair?