Friday, July 21, 2006
Winston Churchill & the Power of Heritage
Today I visited Blenheim Palace, north of Oxford in Woodstock, England. It is dubbed “Britain’s Greatest Palace”. It truly is something to behold. The amount of money it took to build this magnificent palace is troublesome to me but that’s for another post.
Blenheim Palace was a gift of appreciation to John Churchill, yes an ancestor to William Churchill, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
In the 18th century France, under King Louis XIV, was quickly overtaking all of Europe and it was only a matter of time and battle before England would also fall. Queen Anne called upon Fifty-four year old John Churchill, a distinguished general, to not only lead England but also the allied forces of that day. John Churchill gave what was later called the most masterful military leadership in English history and England defeated France. This was considered such a strategic turning point in English history that John Churchill has been honored and recognized like few others.
In tribute John Churchill was named The Duke of Marlborough and given Blenheim Palace. It was a few generations later that Winston Churchill was born in this very palace and raised nearby. Language fails me to supply enough adjectives to describe the beauty of the architecture, paintings, furnishings, and gardens.
I’ve gone on about this because I want to invite you to reflect on the childhood of young Winston. In addition to living a privileged life, Winston was immersed in stories, artistic renderings and national pride regarding the Duke. Imagine the inspiration, the vision and the yearning this would create in a young man who would later serve his country in the military, government and later as Prime Minister during World War II.
When Winston is giving those memorable wartime talks to, “Never, never, never give up…” he was not just throwing around rhetoric that would play well politically. He was possessed of this conviction in large part because of his heritage.
A follower of Jesus Christ is “born again” into the family of God. Jesus the Great, Jesus the Conqueror, Jesus the Redeemer & Savior, is our heritage. When you grow up with the stories, artistic renderings and global pride regarding the Christ, you are powerfully inspired to persevere and never give up in the pursuit of seeing God’s victories realized in today’s world for today’s people.