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A right royal birth

Can we see the parallels between baby Archie’s birth and our rebirth? asks David Smyth.

The birth of Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor made headlines around the world this week.

Congratulations came in from Hollywood A-listers, the Obamas and people adorning Union Jack jumpsuits as they lined the streets in a show of support. The birth also prompted Prince William to welcome Harry and Meghan to the sleep deprivation society’. As a fellow member of this esteemed society, I’d also like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome. 

Babies change everything. Feeding, winding, changing nappies, dressing, repeat. Caring for a newborn baby is a practical crash course in the art of selflessness. Their utter vulnerability and dependency can come as a bit of a shock to the system.

Babies and children play an important part throughout the story of scripture. From the promised son of Abraham, to Moses being placed in a basket of reeds, to Jeremiah being known by God from before he was born. From the rituals of circumcision marking out the male children of Israel in the old covenant, to the coming of the King of the earth as a new born baby in the new covenant. 

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Psalm eight says: Through the praise of children and infants, you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” Jesus tells His disciples to let the little children come unto me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”. There is something counter-culturally powerful about the place of children in God’s eyes that we adults can too often miss. 

Little Archie has no idea that his picture went viral or that so many people are interested in him. In due course, though, he will come to realise something of the family that he has been born into. Even though he has not been given a royal title, he remains seventh in line to the throne and will never likely want for anything, materially at least. His life-course will no doubt look very different from the approximately 2,000 other babies in the UK who share his birthday. Just imagine being born into a royal family.

But that’s the very image that God gives to us when it comes to describing what it means to become a follower of Jesus. It’s a phrase that has fallen out of fashion, but the image of being born again’ describes just how radical our transformation is – a whole new life and identity to live in. We are born again and yet adopted, to become part of a royal family, the King’s household. 

Jesus encourages the intimate language of father in prayer and this Father reveals Himself to us through the intimate image of family. This weekend don’t miss the glaringly obvious parallels between the royal birth of baby Archie and the royal birth of every believer who finds family and rich inheritance forevermore in Christ.

Finally, as a dad I celebrate with Prince Harry. These are precious moments, holding humanity in your hands – the very stuff of life. Enjoy every moment. But I’m also with Prince William: sleep will become something you can only dream about, if only you could.

About the author

David is our lead on public policy. He is a former solicitor and represents the Evangelical Alliance on a range of government, civic and charitable forums. He serves in the space where faith, law, politics and culture intersect.

See more from David Smyth

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