But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12 (NLT)
Downton Abbey, I miss you!
For those of you who don’t know, Downton Abbey was a British mini series about a great manor house at the start of the 20th century. Thousands howled in despair when it ended last January. I was one of them. I’ll miss the great costumes, the ridiculous manners, the food, the wealth, the scene-chewing drama, the wonderful Christian theology—
Wait, what was that last part?
Yes, believe it or not, Downton Abbey, provided one of the best examples of theology on TV. Here’s why.
The show started when the expected heir to the Downton Abbey estate died suddenly (on that pesky Titanic, no less). Because of English inheritance laws, the title and wealth of the estate passed to a very ordinary young lawyer who actually worked for a living. Oh, the scandal!
Instantly, this very ordinary young man became the Earl of Grantham. He did nothing to earn his way into the powerful British Aristocracy. Certain people didn’t think was good enough to be a proper Earl—he even used the wrong fork! But that made no difference. By law he was the Earl of Grantham, heir to all the rights, wealth and power of that the position. Nothing on earth could change that fact.
Becoming a Christian is just like that. When we are found by Jesus’ love, we instantly become the heirs of God’s kingdom. We don’t earn our way into Christ’s family. And, though certain people might not think we are good enough to be proper heirs, it doesn’t matter. By the law of the new covenant, we are the adopted sons and daughters of God.
When I face discouraging days, when the black just gets blacker and I know that even Jesus can’t bear to look at a complete screw-up like me, I remember that very ordinary man who became the owner of Downton Abbey. Whatever I feel, the truth is that I’m God’s child. I’m accepted, adored, redeemed and loved by the Creator of the Universe, and nothing on earth can change that fact. Even if I use the wrong fork.