On Sunday 12th June at Madeley Church, we will be joining in the celebrations to mark the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth. Whatever your views about the monarchy, Queen Elizabeth has had a remarkable life. She has been a very committed servant of both the British people and of Jesus Christ in whom she believes and trusts.
At her Coronation, she asked the nation to pray for her – that God would equip her for the task ahead. Each year she has made her Christmas Day speech in which she has encouraged us to look to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. She is clearly someone for whom faith matters. She speaks very openly about how her faith has given her courage, strength and wisdom for each and every day. The Queen said in 2014: “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is an inspiration and anchor for my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he stretches 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.” The Queen has clearly been through some difficult and testing times herself: globally, nationally and within her own family – coping with bereavements, family break-ups and tensions. Through all of those times, she has remained outwardly dignified, composed and committed to her calling. Looking forward to the year ahead, in 1976 she said: ”the gift I would most value next year is that reconciliation should be found wherever it is needed. A reconciliation which would bring peace and security to families and neighbours at present suffering and torn apart. Remember that good spreads outwards and every little does help. Mighty things from small beginnings grow as indeed they grew through the ministry of Jesus Christ.”
Our world today is arguably more fraught with tensions, injustice and heartache than ever. Reconciliation, forgiveness and restoration is as vital today as it was back in 1976 or even 1953. We may not be the Queen of England. But each of us can have a life-giving partnership with God through Jesus Christ – which doesn’t make us perfect but does offer to us extra resources, wisdom and strength. Through prayer and with the help of the Holy Spirit, God can use our impulses, gifts, talents and energies for the greater good, for justice, reconciliation and for peace. None of this is easy but then nor was it for the Prince of Peace.
Queen Elizabeth has had a privileged life but, through it all, she has used her influence for good and, with God’s help, so can we. Why not join us for worship on June 12th and help us to celebrate alongside our servant Queen and the King she worships.