And it came to pass that on my journey homeward from labors in the city, I became trapped by fellow travelers moving likewise in a slow and crowded manner. This slowing among others who were also exhausted from their labor was agitating to all, and in my agitation, I turned mine eyes to the center console, seeking music from the air which might alleviate my anxiety.
And LO, a great noise rose around me, emanating from all sides. It was a song, slow on a heavy beat, but growing, and a woman’s voice, which I knew within moments to be a song of faith by these signs: by the condemnation of snakes, and by the shunning of “shade” for the light. Such things are unmistakable.
But the heart of this song, which redeemed my journey and replenished my energy to face the road before me, were these words:
…but we figured you out
We all know now, we all got crowns
You need to calm down
I saw a vision of a great crowd of people, all wearing untrodden gowns, and upon all of their heads rested golden crowns. And the vision filled me with awe. How could this be? for a crown signifies a royal distinction above and apart from others, and yet each and every person in this great crowd wore a crown like that of a king or a queen.
I pondered this greatly, but received no wisdom from my thoughts. And so when I arrived home from my journey, I turned to the HOLY scripture so that I might understand the strange vision given to me by this song.
My pursuit was not in vain, for the HOLY scripture presented to me the knowledge of five crowns, all of which might be presented to believers, such that all believers not only possess each their own crown, but many come to wear several crowns. The names of these crowns were given thus:
- The Crown of Life, to be given to those who persevere through trials (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10)
- The Imperishable Crown, to be given to those who train in self-control and denial (1 Corinthians 9:25)
- The Crown of Righteousness, to be given to those who wait with longing for the return of Christ (2 Timothy 4:8)
- The Crown of Glory, to be given to those who instruct others on the path to God by unselfish example (1 Peter 5:2-4)
- The Crown of Rejoicing, to be given to those who fulfilled their commission to evangelize beyond the Church (1 Thessalonians 2:19, Philippians 4:1)
Though my curiosity was somewhat satiated, I yet could not comprehend the giving of crowns to all like bread to the poor. Surely such an act would render the device meaningless, as giving wedding-rings to the unwed, or military decorations to those who had never raised a sword, or trophies of victory to children for participating in a game though not achieving victory.
But such things in scripture are profound Mysteries, to be contemplated in pursuit of greater understanding, which cannot come from rejecting the word of GOD.
The song told of perseverance through the trials of persecution, and so I knew that the crowns sung of were the Crowns of Life. Further, it sang with a lightness of spirit, shaking off the words of The Accuser, unburdened by the weight of contradiction or legalistic adherence to the word of scriptural prohibitions. It soared above these like a dove, like a marabou stork.
The meaning of many crowns worn by many people remains a mystery, given the nature of crowns. Were it not God-breathed, I would think it a false-promise, an appeal to vanity with what logic cannot allow. But with God, all things are possible — life in poverty, life in wealth, and life in a symbolic omni-monarchy.
But not all remained mysterious! For such is the fruit of belief and contemplation — I believed that I may understand, and slowly the fruits of knowledge, when left unpicked though temptation whispers, present themselves. The lightness of spirit, of language — the gaiety spirit — is the proper spirit of God, who moves in all of us as sung in the Song of Solomon. And I saw that I need not be burdened with seriousness when dealing with those who are not serious, for many are they who, in ignorance, think themselves wise in knowledge of the hearts of others, and speak contemptuously.
But even they serve God’s purpose, for even from their ignorance come words of wisdom, reminders that even the Godless bear the image of God and can speak the nature of his spirit without them even knowing. And meditation upon the mysteries of the text may yet reveal the nature of God to us, in his own time, or else reveal origins of beliefs in the world which, though worldly and hateful of HIM, nevertheless find their origin in his Word and spirit.
Praise be, Amen, and may the many crowns of Royal Equality be Liberally bestowed upon us all.