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18-Feb-07

18-Feb-07

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Published by Joseph Winston

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Published by: Joseph Winston on Apr 28, 2008
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The King of Hearts
The Rev. Joseph WinstonFebruary 18, 2007
Sermon
Grace and peace are gifts for you from God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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From the dawn of recorded time until today, history has been full of kings andqueens. Some of these leaders were loved by their contemporaries. In general,these monarchs had fair laws, they kept the peace, and they promoted a prosper-ous economy. For the most part, King Arthur and King David fit this pattern. Eventoday, both Arthur and David are fondly remembered in song and story. On theother hand, some leaders were absolutely hated by their subjects since these lead-ers stood as complete opposites to the beloved sovereigns. These monarchs had re-pressive laws, unmanageable taxation, and a love for war. Roman emperors oftenfit this description. We still have the image of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.The eastern world also had its share of tyrants. Even now, the name Genghis Khan
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Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians1:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, Philemon 1:3
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evokes the picture of one man leading a ruthless war machine.One strategy that has been effectively used against these poor leaders is satire.This form of literature uses some combination of humor, exaggeration, ridicule,and irony to expose problems in politics and other contemporary issues. One of the most famous examples of satire happens to be the children’s book 
Alice inWonderland 
.Onthesurface,
 AliceinWonderland 
appearstobenothingmorethananonsen-sical story about a young girl who follows a White Rabbit down a tunnel, througha door, and into a world where animals speak and everything is rather strange. Butif you look deeper, this tale tells us of the absurdity that was the Victorian era.One of the most famous sketches that pokes fun at the monarchy occurs whenAlice is invited to play croquet with the Queen of Hearts. This scene opens withthe gardeners, who are cards, painting the white roses red. As Alice makes herway to the yard, she runs into several other cards that are shuffling for the queen’sattention. Then the Five calls out,“The Queen! The Queen!” and the three gardeners instantly threwthemselvesflatupontheirfaces.Therewasasoundofmanyfootsteps,and Alice looked round, eager to see the Queen.First came ten soldiers carrying clubs; these were all shaped like thethree gardeners, oblong and flat, with their hands and feet at the cor-ners: next the ten courtiers; these were ornamented all over with dia-monds, and walked two and two, as the soldiers did. After these camethe royal children; there were ten of them, and the little dears came2
 
 jumping merrily along hand in hand, in couples: they were all orna-mented with hearts. Next came the guests, mostly Kings and Queens,and among them Alice recognised the White Rabbit: it was talkingin a hurried nervous manner, smiling at everything that was said, andwent by without noticing her. Then followed the Knave of Hearts,carrying the King’s crown on a crimson velvet cushion; and, lastof all this grand procession, came
THE KING AND QUEEN OFHEARTS
.Alice was rather doubtful whether she ought not to lie down on herface like the three gardeners, but she could not remember ever havingheard of such a rule at processions; “and besides, what would be theuse of a procession,” thought she, “if people had all to lie down upontheir faces, so that they couldn’t see it?” So she stood still where shewas, and waited.When the procession came opposite to Alice, they all stopped andlooked at her, and the Queen said severely “Who is this?” She said itto the Knave of Hearts, who only bowed and smiled in reply.“Idiot!” said the Queen, tossing her head impatiently; and, turning toAlice, she went on, “What’s your name, child?”“My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,” said Alice very politely;but she added, to herself, “Why, they’re only a pack of cards, after all.I needn’t be afraid of them!”3

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