After seeing all the coverage for the birth of the "royal baby", I was reminded of a story I read years ago about Queen Victoria's visit to a local paper mill.
"Queen Victoria once paid a visit to a paper mill. Without knowing who this distinguished visitor was, the foreman showed her the workings of the mill. She went into the rag-sorting shop where employees picked out the rags from the refuse of the city. Upon inquiring what was done with this dirty mass of rags, she was told that it would eventually be made into the finest white writing paper. After her departure, the foreman found out who it was that had paid the visit.
Some time later, Her Majesty received a package of the most delicate, pure white stationery, bearing the Queen's likeness for a watermark. Enclosed was a note saying that the stationery had been made from the dirty rags she had recently inspected."
This story illustrates Christ's work in us as well. He takes us, filthy as we are, and makes us into new creatures. After receiving Jesus, we are spiritually different from what we were before, just as pure white paper is radically different from the filthy rags from which it is made.
"Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)