When someone says the word “crown” it conjures up images of sparkly jewels, fine clothing, and pomp and circumstance in my mind. This crown is usually associated with wealth and royalty and with being surrounded by servants, having every whim and desire catered to.
This is not the type of crown we were all destined to wear.
Yes, it is true that by virtue of being a child of God we wear a crown. This crown is a reflection of our inherent dignity, but it is not a crown of this world where the standard is to be served and held in esteem above others. Instead, it is a crown of the kingdom of God where, following the example given by the Incarnate, is a crown of service and humility. One that puts us in the service of others.
It’s kind of remarkable how a little humility can help straighten our crowns.
When we are offended by someone’s words or think we have not been given the place of honor we felt entitled it can feel as if our crowns are slipping from our heads. But, if we remember that we wear crowns from the kingdom to come, we should do as the Word instructs us: “as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col 3:12) “for all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
Saint Mother Teresa, who lived a life of charity and humbled herself to serve the poorest of the poor wore this crown so well.
She is a role model for us all in her life’s work to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Phil 2:3-4)
When we put on our crowns of humility and render ourselves in the service of others, we can rest in the comfort of knowing that “the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” (Psalm 149:4)