The Queen has passed from this life into the next. After her long reign, she now enjoys the eternal reign of the King who loved her and gave his life for her. A lifetime of subjects bowing before her now gives way to an eternity of joyfully bowing before her Lord. As I reflect on the life of our Queen who was a longstanding disciple of Jesus, three outstanding characteristics come to mind.
First, stability. Through the many crises and challenges of the last 70 years, fluctuating politics, economy, social tastes and fashions, the queen has felt rock-like in her unwavering presence. We all struggle with change, and long for stability. She gave that in way that is difficult to pinpoint, but undeniable.
Second, service. When celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee earlier this year we gave a children’s book to our church kids called ‘The Queen who chose to serve.’ She really did. So consistent and unwavering was her 70-year long daily choice of public service that we all become completely used to it, as if, ‘well, of course that’s what Monarchs do’. Except that very often they don’t.
Third, sacrifice. This is the necessary cost of service. We either serve ourselves and sacrifice others in the process, or serve others and sacrifice ourselves in the process. The Queen chose the later. The daily weight of ‘the crown’ is difficult for us to comprehend, and the personal sacrifices freely made from such a young age difficult to quantify.
The Queen’s faith, about which she spoke often, is not incidental to these characteristics. Stability (or faithfulness), service, and sacrifice are streams that flow naturally from the reservoir of the Christian faith. For our Greater King, Jesus, is the ultimate in stability (his kingdom will never end), service (he stoops to wash our feet), and sacrifice (he gave his life for his subjects).
We mourn the loss of a great woman of faith, but we look, as she did, to the King she served, and the kingdom she is now perfectly at rest within.
Let’s pray for her family, for our nation in this time of transition, for the Archbishop of Canterbury and other involved in leading her funeral. May Christ be exalted in it all. I’ll be in touch with details of how we can commemorate her passing together at church.
With much love,
Photo credit - PRESS ASSOCIATION - Danny Lawson