There is something very tragic about Prince Harry’s autobiography. In just three words the front cover summarizes the 400 pages that lie within: Prince Harry – Spare. Clearly Harry is a man traumatised by the death of his mother, resentful of an institution which he feels has let him down, and bitterly opposed to the press which has so often vilified him and his wife. But underneath it all is the search for identity and meaning. As the spare and not the heir he was born to ever live in the shadow of his older brother.
We might not all get to write a book but the search for meaning and purpose is common to us all. We all want to be loved and feel that our lives are significant in some way. But we’re nagged by the thought that we might always be overlooked and seen as spare.
What a joy, then, to discover that Jesus invites us to become his co-heir and call God our Father. On the cross he takes our failure and invites us into his family. As St Paul once famously put it, ‘we are God’s children… we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ’. In Jesus we are never the spare and always the heir!