70 YEARS! Queen Elizabeth ll has reigned over the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand for over 70 years. Here in the UK we look forward to a weekend of Platinum Jubilee celebrations at the beginning of June. Earlier this year, Sunday 6th February marked exactly 70 years since the passing of King George VI, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. During that time the UK has enjoyed a time of relative peace and stability. Hard-working, wise and gracious Her Majesty has fulfilled her role with integrity and dedication. In her Platinum Jubilee message, the Queen renewed her commitment to the people of the Commonwealth: “As we mark this anniversary, it gives me pleasure to renew to you the pledge I gave in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to your service.”
Unlike her majesty, certain rulers throughout history have been self-seeking, demanding and dictatorial, yet in Queen Elizabeth ll we have a queen, who sees her role as one of service to her people. Someone else who dedicated their life, and death, to the service of others was none other than Jesus the Messiah, known by many as the greatest Man who ever lived. Instructing His followers that true greatness comes through humility, He said to them:
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Mark 10:43-45
The person of Jesus has truly been central to the life of Her Majesty. “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life,” she said in her 2014 Christmas Broadcast. “A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he stretched out his hands in love, acceptance and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.”
Here also is an excerpt from the Queen’s Christmas broadcast in 2011:
“Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general (important though they are) – but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.
“Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.
“In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem, there’s a prayer:
O Holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us we pray
Cast out our sin
And enter in
Be born in us today
“It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.”
As Her Majesty suggests, we don’t have to be a king or queen to know God’s forgiveness and new life. His door is open to all who will enter with a humble heart.
God save the Queen!