Snowflakes Upon the Royal Coat of Arms

Immanuel.  God with us.  ….wikki wikka…Hold up…we have a remix going on here.   I couldn’t even go any further with writing this because He just showed up.  You should have seen the wintery night sky He just lit up with the most unusual lighting scheme, bringing deep blues, golds, and oranges to our attention.  My husband and I nearly ran into each other as we bolted out the back door to behold the beauty unfolding before our eyes.  We went back inside because we thought the show was over, both sat down, then shouted, “Woah! Look now!” and ran back out again to wonder over the purple, gold, and rose colored sky the Master of time was painting.

Immanuel is so detailed. SO detailed.  There’s an article that’s been going around the internet lately with pictures showing the meticulous nature of individual snowflakes.  Ingrained in my education has been the fun fact that no snowflake or human finger print are exactly alike. I’ve blown these facts off for years.  That is until I saw these pictures.  Their artistry and wonder gripped me tightly.  Maybe I had seen pictures of individual snowflakes before, but I couldn’t recall.  These images were so fresh to my aging eyes that I felt like I was truly using the windows to my soul at their greatest capacity for the very first time.

Closely, I examined these intricate works of art.  Each one held such unique characteristics.  Some had spirals and spokes, others were cylinder in shape, there were a few with actual color inside them,  one reminded me of the outlining form of Superman’s logo, and still others had shapes that mimicked other things found in nature such as flowers, stars, and feathers.  The snowflake that most captured my attention was one that appeared to have acorns on it. {Look at the 4th picture down here to see which one I’m talking about.}

Acorns.  That reminded me of something else. Of a shield…no…a crest…a crest woven into a Royal coat of arms.  It had to be created for a specific purpose. What was it? Ah, an emblem that had to be constructed because of a marriage that was to take place between a commoner and a Royal. Kate Middleton and Prince William to be exact. Princess Catherine’s coat of arms, which was designed shortly before her wedding in 2011, incorporates three acorns, representing the three Middleton children and their traditional English heritage.  As the world watched while she and her Prince Charming wed that beautiful day, do you remember her earrings?  Diamond acorns were dangling in the center of them.

Do you know why crests and coats of arms exist?  They exist to tell the story of family lines.  I’ll never forget the special project my twelfth grade English teacher, Mrs.Goffin, gave our class.  It was to create our own coat of arms.  Today, I’d change mine quite a bit from my senior year design.  But the value of that project remains.  Each individual life has a story that is woven into the crest of a greater story.  Each tale and shield of symbols is as unique as a snowflake.

Immanuel is so detailed that He created a coat of arms for each one of us.  And to each of us that is ingrafted into His family tree, He creates a family crest that will remain perpetually new until He comes.

There are so many pieces of imagery that God incorporates into His own story to teach us that He wants our individual story shields to be included in His coat of arms.

He Created us fearfully, wonderfully, and uniquely.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” Psalm 139:14-15 NIV

“But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30 ESV

Before the world ever was spoken into existence, Immanuel was in our story.  He penned the first of all the words of our individual stories. He created us particularly. He wrote His overall story and included a specific space for us each to fit into it.  He knew the artistic vision our individual shields would take and saw how they could fit into His family coat of arms.  No color or eccentricity included on our own crests will ever clash with those that belong to His Royal coat of arms because although they are unique in design, they are also made to be included in the patchwork of His composition with the overall clan, which tells the greatest family story ever told.

He Adopted us into His royal family.

“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree … For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.”  Romans 11:17 &24 ESV

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans 8:15-17 NASB

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV

Another one of my high school teachers shared with our class that he and his wife were adopting a son.  We asked what his name would be.  “John Branch Walton,” he responded.  Branch was an unusual name to be sure.  But Mr. Walton went onto explain that just as their son was becoming a part of their family, God the Father has engrafted us as a branch into His family tree.

Imagine that.  He has seen our shields already.  He knows the horror and the beauty that have been painted into the stories on our crests.  Yet, He still finds room in His royal coat of arms to display our unique colors, proclaiming to the world, “This story fits in with My family tree.”

Each shield looks a little different.  Just as a family full of adopted children highlights the particularities that remain after an old heritage that has been gifted with a new destiny and legacy, so each shield sits in the royal family crest in the spot it was always meant to belong.  Your shield was chosen to go in that very section of the Royal family crest.

He Named us with a new name.

“But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!” Isaiah 43:1 NASB

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV 

“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” Revelation 2:17 NIV

When our shields become incorporated into the family crest, we are given a new identity.  Just as Kate Middleton married into the House of Windsor and took on the new name and title, Her Royal Highness Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, when we are engrafted into the Royal Family of Immanuel, we are given a new name and identity.

Our shields no longer stand alone.  They stand beside the one of The Most High King to let the world know that we no longer are solitary in existence, but bound in love and purpose.  We who accept His proposal receive the simple title of, “Mine,” from the Lord of Lords.  Our identities are transformed and we take not only His surname, but we are promised a new name when we arrive to dwell in His Palace.

The name on the banner of our Family Crest is no longer common.  It’s magnificent.  It is the Name Above All Names.

He Married us.

“For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” Isaiah 54:5 NIV

“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, ‘Hallelujah!For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory,for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.’” Revelation 19:6-8 ESV

Less concerned than Prince William was with Catherine’s family crest is the Bride Groom who pursues us and our shields.  He knows that we’re each “middletons”…middle folks… average people, but still He sees such value in us as individuals and finds us spectacular.  He sees the beautiful bride that we each can be transformed into through His proposal.  He desires to spend the rest of eternity with us.  He longs for intimacy with us. He knows our quirks.  He “gets” us.  He loves us.

His love causes those who accept His proposal to actually lay down their defenses…their shields…their own crests… and pick up His.  By laying our own vastly week shields down, we pick up the shield of Faith, which extinguishes against flaming arrows and protects us from being further scathed before the marriage supper where we will celebrate our union to the Bridegroom.

With more than one shield on the shelf of family stories, the Royal Crest is presented with full colors and the volumes of the greatest story ever told are there for the reading.

Our family crest is what binds us.  Because our Master designer has created us uniquely and wonderfully, our Royal Father has adopted us, our Artisan Story Teller has named us, and our Prince of Peace who has wooed us to the Royal chapel of love, we belong on the only Coat of Arms fit for the family of The King of Kings.

Immanuel. He is with us.  He is in us.  He has designed us with great detail.  He has incorporated our unique shields into His family crest.  I suspect that if you were to place each one of our lives under a microscope, you’d see far more intricate designs than you would in a snowflake.  A God who takes that much thought, care, and design to create such a masterpiece in each tiny snowflake is surely with those that He created from dust all the more.

Far more meticulously spun than a snowflake rests your shield in the family story displayed upon the Most High King’s Coat of Arms.

 

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