Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Windsor Castle

Saturday proved to be a cloudy but pleasant day to visit the castle,
which was, again, just a short train ride from London. This time,
both Andrew and Katie joined us.
Windsor is proud to be the oldest and largest occupied castle in the
world...and presently, it is the home (when she is not in London at
Buckingham palace conducting "business"), of Queen Elizabeth II. We
are told that if her standard is flying from the round tower (seen in
the photo), she is in residence.
Unfortunately, we were not to enjoy
the privilege of her presence on this day. I am reminded that our
hearts as Christians are the residence of the Holy Spirit in our
lives, and what we do and say reflects, as a standard, to the world,
that He is in residence there. Can the world see His flag flying in us?
In each room (and I am discovering that this is common in castles and
palaces) there were beautiful works of art that had been collected
over the centuries...many of them portraits of former royalty painted
by the court artists. Of course, the usual fine furniture, bedding
and curtains were displayed. Other rooms are set aside for a display special collections, to greet and entertain
prominent heads of state, or to honor those that have rendered
extraordinary service to their king and queen. (If you want to see
an awesome virtual tour of armor and cloaks and such of Napoleon, and
other leaders of the world at Windsor, go to the
website and look for the Royal Residences Windsor Castle Grand
Staircase Virtual Tour.)
One such room was the King George's Ballroom, where dignitaries
dined. Here, knights of the past have been honored by displaying
their coat of arms on the walls and ceiling of the room, denoting
their acts of chivalry for their king and country. There seemed to
be thousands, dating back to the Middle Ages. Occasionally, as we
strained our necks to peruse the lot, I noticed a blank shield.
"What did that signify?" I asked the guard. "That particular knight
(and all their names were numerically coded to the coat of arms
above), was disgraced because of treason or possibly desertion." My
heart sank as I pondered the fate of the knight so dishonored. For
all time, he will be remembered for his misdeeds instead of his
bravery. Again, I thought of my service to the King of Kings. Lord,
help me to be faithful to the me to stand in the battle
and fight, no matter what the cost. I don't want to arrive empty
handed in heaven, with my head bowed in shame, because I have no
crown to lay at Your feet. I want to hear you say, "Well done, my
good and faithful servant".
I forget that castles need to be defended, so I was fascinated with
the "loopholes" (shown in photo)...slots in the wall which were
narrow on the outside, but wide on the inside, so archers could be
protected from the enemy as they defended the castle and it's
precious inhabitants. As our country makes choices that are anti-
biblical, we need to defend our faith and God's Word. Are we ready?

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