This month we’re celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The Sunday of the Queen’s Jubilee weekend also happens to be one of the most important festivals of the church – Pentecost, when we remember the Holy Spirit descending on God’s people and we celebrate the birthing of God’s church.
Now at first look, celebrating 70 years of our monarch’s reign and a 2000 year old festival might not appear to go well together, leaving churches with a question as to what to do on that Sunday. But I think it all fits together really well.
Pentecost celebrates the birth of the worldwide church. And the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee marks an opportunity to give thanks for the Queen’s 70 years faithful stewardship of the Church of England as it’s ‘Supreme Governor’ – God’s appointed steward.
At Pentecost the flame of the Spirit burned brightly among the disciples and the Queen has carried that flame for 70 years. In June in both Betley and Madeley, the churches will host a number of baptisms, which is again fitting as in the baptism of children we give a lit candle to the parent’s as a symbol of the light of Jesus and the flame of the Spirit.
This is all liturgically perfect in my opinion. Pentecost sees the flame of God’s church burst forth, at the Platinum Jubilee we give thanks for 70 years faithful stewardship of the light, and in baptism we send out the next generation, baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and carrying the fire of the Spirit into the future. We have so much to give thanks for. Amen.