[Presesnted to North Decatur UMC in December, 2019.]
We have seen a glimpse of what is to come. But we must not think that the glimpse is all that is coming. We have signs that promise is so much more than we can see. the signs promise us what we expect To come
There once was a young prince who fell in love when visiting a neighboring land. The young woman was a good woman but was surrounded by pushy men in a selfish kingdom. The prince saw her deep value and she found in him something she did not see in the men in her kingdom. But she was required to stay in her father's care until she turned 20 one year from when they met, and the prince also had to go back to run the kingdom of his father who had recently passed on. He had a plan and just enough time to make it a place worthy of her.
They corresponded by mail and visited each other the first few months and their love grew. They planned that he would come bring her to his kingdom in the spring; it was almost ready. But it was deep in the dimming dark of autumn when her father said there were many men in her village that he wanted to wed her.
And she had begun to worry because She had not heard from her prince for several weeks. It was then she found out the mail service had been compromised by thieves and almost no mail was making it through. There was so much pressure to wed these men in this town she had grown up in. But shallowed in comparison to her prince. The vision of her prince and his goodness was fading with the wintery solstice light.
She was crying on her bed one night while several of her suiters were ingratiating her father in the next room. They had brought gold bracelets and heavy bags of coins to prove their metal. The clinking sound was just so solid and real and the promise of her prince just seemed so distant and fragile. She whispered between her sobs, "Please come soon. Are you really who you say you are? Do you really have a kingdom and are coming for me?" Then came a hard knock and her father answered the front door. He called for her.
She dried her tears and walked to him, avoiding the gaze of her suiters.
A young boy in a dark hood, looking haggard from a long sleuthing journey held out something wrapped in cloth.
as she unwrapped it the boy said, "He sends this message: he is fighting to make the way safe for you and will come for you as soon as he can. He gives you these as a sign and a promise of what to expect, of he waits to give you."
It was a key. And it was a ring.
This proved so much more than the prince’s metal. They were the signs of a future kingdom she would inherit with him and a love he would commit to her forever.
It was only because of the key and the ring that she was able to hold onto hope and wait until. the key was so much more than the key itself, it was a sign of inheritance of a kingdom. And the ring was so much more than a small loop of metal. it meant a promise of his love for a lifetime.