King Richard III was no saint – probably

There are probably some interesting conversations over cups of tea in Leicester, England today.  Several people couldn’t get their usual parking spots in that city as well.  Why?  Because they had to dig the parking lot up in order to dig up the remains of King Richard III.  Yes, the very same King Richard that Shakespeare wrote his play about!  Last August they found a skeleton and the DNA labs have been working non-stop since that time.  British scientists announced Monday morning that they are “convinced beyond reasonable doubt” that the bones from that parking lot belonged to King Richard III.  Dr. Phil Stone is chairman of the King Richard III Society and he is beyond thrilled at the discovery.  The society has been trying to prove for the past 90 years that William Shakespeare got it all wrong.  Britain’s Dr. “Phil” says, “Richard III was no saint but neither was he a criminal.”  I wonder what America’s Dr. Phil would say about that statement?  It isn’t exactly high praise.

According to the British Dr. Phil, most of the crimes that Shakespeare assigned to Richard III could not have been factually possible.  The only accusation that might be true, is the murder of King Edward IV’s two young sons in the Tower of London.  The two boys were placed in the tower by Richard III, because they were a threat to his reign, and then “disappeared.” Just between you and me, that accusation is evidence enough that King Richard III might not be a great guy.  Those in the King Richard Society are quite happy with all that the parking lot excavation has produced.  King Richard III might not be as bad as William Shakespeare made him out to be, but the fact that he “was no saint” is all that matters now.

I was speaking at a chapel service this past Sunday on the topic of prayer.  I used Ephesians 6:18 in my message.  The Apostle Paul told the church in Ephesus, “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”  According to the Bible, who qualifies as a “saint?” 

The word “saint” in the New Testament is the Greek word “hagios,” meaning “holy one.”  Ananias, Peter and Paul all use the word hagios, and they all use that word to mean the same thing.  According to the Bible, a saint is a person who has made Jesus their Lord and Savior.  Now, aren’t you feeling a little better about yourself right now?  If you are a Christian, you are a saint, according to Peter and Paul.  Move over St. Valentine, St. Janet wants her say this February too!

So, Saint (insert your own name here) – I have put together a few verses from St. Paul, to you.  Enjoy reading about yourself!

Ephesians 3:17-19:  “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep, is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure with all the fullness of God.”

Colossians 1:3-5:  “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints- the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel.”

Colossians 1:11-13: “being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.  For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves”

According to Dr. Phil Stone of Britain, King Richard III was no saint.  I doubt Dr. Stone really understood what he was saying, in the biblical sense of the word.  They may have found the bones of King Richard III but only God knows where his soul is today.  There are plans being made for the King’s bones to be buried again, but his soul is already where it will be forever. 

So, to all you saints who read my blog, look over those verses and understand what God has recreated you to be.  We have a great inheritance waiting for us.  “Always keep on praying” for one another.  And then pray for the salvation of those who haven’t yet become saints in God’s Kingdom.

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