Archbishop Smith: The Throne
It must have been quite the television series. Even if you, like me, have not seen a single episode of Game of Thrones, and therefore have no idea what it is about, it is difficult to miss the hype, especially about the final episode, which aired just recently. Millions upon millions of viewers have followed all seasons of this epic, and – if news reports are accurate – had their attention riveted on the question of who would occupy something called the Iron Throne.
My attention is drawn to the very concept of “throne”. One seated upon a throne is typically vested with power and authority. Sovereignty and rule belong to the person enthroned. The television series that unfolded around this concept is pure fantasy. However, the idea does, in fact, exercise some real influence in our daily living.
Who, or what, do I enthrone? To what do I pledge my allegiance and what do I allow to exercise sway over my every decision? Am I crowning reputation, accomplishment, possessions and the like? Do these rule over me? What we are witnessing with increasing frequency in Western society especially is the enthronement of the Self. I am my own moral compass.
In the Book of Revelation, we read: “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, ‘To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might for ever and ever!’ (5:13). Our true Sovereign is God the Father, who fully shares his divine authority with Jesus, the Lamb slain to vanquish sin and death and thus bring all of human history into the realm of his Father. And from Ephesians: “And [God] has put all things under [Christ’s] feet and has made him the head over all things for the church…” (1:22) Jesus is appointed by God to reign until all is submitted to him and he then hands over all to his Father (cf 1Cor 15: 24-25).
Jesus is appointed to reign. He alone has been enthroned. Not the Self, not any idol, no ideology. May the Holy Spirit lead us, from the depths of our hearts, to bow down in worship and surrender to his sovereign will.