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Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

The Prince and the Pauper

I’ve just turned the last page of Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, where two boys, one the royal prince Edward, and the other, the ragged Tom Canty, who bear an uncanny resemblance to each other, intentionally swap clothes, but unintentionally swap places. Tom nervously but happily pretends to be King (since the death of Edward’s father happens just after the swap), but Edward persistently, stubbornly, constantly, continually, repetitively, and ceaselessly maintains his royal status, though dressed in the rags of a pauper. The incessant claim to royalty was the most annoying part of the book, yet upon reflection, has its clearest application in the Christian life.

For though Christians are not yet as they will be in glory, and though their manners and behaviour can at times look a bit ragged, yet King’s children they are, and the status is not be denied, no matter the protests of those who think otherwise. Says the old apostle John: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” One day the matter will be settled, and the incredulity of this present age will discontinue. (And who can blame the disbelief, when Christians sometimes act the way they do?) But the day will come, and their Lord will appear, and so too the wonder that they are his.

DM 13th August 2013

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