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I'm the Archbishop of Canterbury! (published in The North Weld Herald 1/28/10)

posted Sep 7, 2013, 1:15 PM by Fccea Webmaster
The king of England had two boys -- the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Kent. One said, "Bet you a shilling all fat policemen are bald." The other took the bet. It wasn't long before a sufficiently rotund bobby appeared, but he had his helmet on. So the two royals enlisted the help of a scruffy little urchin they met in the alleyway to dislodge the helmet. One stone's throw did the job and sure enough the bobby was bald.

However, despite his rotundity, the policeman was quick and he soon had the three boys in tow. As he held them tightly he said to the first, "You know, you boys have committed a serious crime here -- assaulting an officer of the law. So, who are you?" "I'm the Prince of Wales," the boy replied. "Well, I don't believe that," said the policeman, "but Ill write it down for now." His query to the second boy resulted in, "I'm the Duke of Kent." He wrote it down.

Turning to the third boy, he asked him, "And who are you?" The little urchin whispered a quick aside to his new friends, "Don't worry boys, I wont let you down." Then turning to the bobby he said, "I'm the Archbishop of Canterbury!"

The truth is, you can hardly expect people to believe you are the child of a king if you are living like an alleyway urchin, right? We all judge people far more by how they act than by the claims they make.

Therein lies a great challenge for those who claim to be followers of Christ. It is hard to credit those claims if there is no resemblance to the life He lived and advocated. Can we truly claim Him when our lives reflect no compassionate outreach to the poor and needy in our world? What daily selfless actions -- beginning at home -- would suggest that we are truly His? Does joy characterize our life, or would sourpuss be more like it?

Jesus once commented that "the tree is known by its fruit" (Matt. 12:33). And Paul was kind enough to identify what that fruit should be in the life of a true believer. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (Gal 5:22-23). Here's a question: If displaying any one of those were made a capital offense, would they be hanging you as guilty -- or would they see too little evidence to convict you? In fact, would you be the one dropping the trapdoor?

It's true that no one is perfect and children don't always live up to the family name. But Jesus' statement implies that folks have a right to judge us by our actions as opposed to our claims. Even more important is the need that we judge ourselves by our actions.

Jesus made a devastatingly pointed remark in Matthew 7:21: Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Apparently a claim is not enough. Genuine faith results in a changed life.

So who are we? Claiming to be the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn't necessarily make it so.

By His Grace Pastor Dave