The Queen Who Served A King
This past week has been extraordinary in many ways. Since Queen Elizabeth II died, the news channels have relentlessly embarked on a running commentary of her life, events after her death and history of her reign. This no doubt will continue into next week when she is finally laid to rest. Like me, you may have learned a few new things about her life, her faith and devotion to Jesus. Only yesterday in a gathering of pastors, I learned that she wished to be alive when Jesus came back again, so that she may cast her crown at His feet. Such was her humility. Though royal and revered, she knew she was a queen who served The King. Jesus was, and is her king!
You only need to listen to her many addresses to the nation over the years and it won't be long before you discover that her love for Jesus was real and she never sought to hide it. Last Christmas, in spite of the loss of her beloved husband, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II referenced Jesus as the "bedrock of her faith". Talking about children and the joy they bring, she said "They teach us all a lesson, just as the Christmas story does. That in the birth of a child there is a new dawn with endless potential. It is this simplicity of the Christmas story that makes it so universally appealing. Simple happenings that form the starting point of the life of Jesus. A man whose teachings has been handed down from generation to generation, and have been the bedrock of my faith. His birth marked a new beginning. As the carol says, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight."
According to Mail Online, "During seventy years of her reign, the Queen's Christmas Day speeches invoked Biblical references to the story of the birth of Christ, as well as other stories including the Good Samaritan." As a 25 year old Queen acceding the throne at a time she least expected, "she vowed to be guided by her Christian faith throughout her reign and asked her subjects to pray ahead of her coronation". She kept her vow, and served us with the most admirable humility and grace unparalleled by any living monarch. Her faith in Christ was consistent. As someone said "she was sustained by faith and driven by duty". Jesus featured in her first Christmas address when she said "Pray for me... that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life".
She served the nation for seventy years and even two days before she died, she was working, welcoming the new Prime Minister Liz Truss to Balmoral. Now, with hindsight one wonders what effort it must have taken to get up to perform what became her final duty. No wonder the outpouring of emotion and reflection by millions of people across the world who are still reeling in the wake of her death. We have lost an extraordinary woman, a queen and a servant, a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was such a big part of what makes Britain Britain. Hers are shoes hard to fill, that's why we must pray for our new king, Charles III. And if you wonder how you might pray for him, simply pray this, that the same faith in Jesus, which was in her mother, will be found in him as well. That our new king will come to realise that the Queen was who she was, because of her King - Jesus!
Queen Elizabeth II was not perfect, no one is. There will be no doubt that some people will chose to emphasise her mistakes - perceived or real, but I am moved by her humanity and sacrifice. Many of us will rant and rave if our right of reply to criticisms is impaired in any way. For Queen Elizabeth II, she was not always able, or chose not to respond to criticism of her, her family or establishment. She waived her right of reply, and I can tell you, that’s not always easy to do. I know.
She is an example to all of us. I pray and hope she will be an inspiration to many Christians in the corridors of power, whether political or in business who can sometimes be made to feel they cannot openly express their faith in a post modern world. Let the Queen be a shining light to you. Let her life prove to you that you have nothing to lose when you openly profess your faith in Jesus, in fact on the contrary, you have much to gain. And above all, who knows whether for such a time as this, God has put you in that position, to be a light in the midst of a dark and evil world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father, which is in heaven. The Queen did that, and now she is with her Lord, the King of her life.