Monday, January 10, 2011

A Heart, A Home, A Brain, The NERVE!!

Due to circumstances beyond my control we all missed the 204th anniversary of Napoleon's crowning himself Emperor of the French. Talk about circumstances beyond one's control. Even the mighty Napoleon was brought down to size (as though he wasn't already) by Pope Pius VII who arrived from Rome one week late for the coronation.

Painter Jacques-Louis David accepted the call to capture the moment as the elaborate tableau unfolded at the Cathedral of Notre Dame which was given a face lift for the occasion. David provides us with a fine example of artistic revisionist history inserting Napoleon's missing mother in amongst the participants in the three hour ceremony.

Claiming that he "didn't bring the Pope such a long way to do nothing" Napoleon agreed to allow the Pontiff to bless the crown and other regalia (a chain, ring, orb and ermine collar) as well as to return to the pope several territories previously claimed by the church. Napoleon then placed the Charlemagne crown on his own head, quickly replaced his own crown with a solid gold laurel wreath in the style of the Roman emperors, followed by the coronation of his wife Josephine. What you see is a glimpse of the monumental painting, 20'x32', commemorating this likewise monumental event.

Before we come down too hard on Napoleon for exhibiting such pompous nerve so as to crown himself the King of Quite a Lot, just think about it. We do it all the time. We are professional crown-grabbers seeking what we want, when and where we want it. Napoleon had his national anthem and we have ours. "Oh say, can you see? It's all about me."

In stark contrast, our Lord and King Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost. It wasn't about His self-promotion. It was about utter humiliation, leaving His throne in heaven, becoming as one of His own subjects, so that one day all those who believe in Him might wear a crown which the Lord will give to all those who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8.

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