Following the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II, I would like to thank everyone who has worked hard, to ring the bells and to open the churches for people to come and say prayers, light a candle or sign a book of condolence.
During the period of mourning, we held services of prayer and thanksgiving for the life of the Queen during which, together, we considered,
- What stands out in our memories about The Queen?
- What we will always remember about her?
- What we learned through her life and death, including about God in Jesus Christ?
I reflected that the things for me that most stand out and which I will always remember about Queen Elizabeth II are her loyalty, her servanthood and her faith.
We have all heard those words which she spoke on her 21st Birthday, when she said:
‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family, to which we all belong.’
She honoured that commitment until her dying day. And people respect her for that; for her integrity and loyalty.
Queen Elizabeth was a Christian. And I believe that her reign was a success because it was underpinned by her deep faith in God. She knew who was Lord of her life, who was sovereign and ruler of all. She knew who to thank, who to turn to for guidance and who was her strength when things got tough.
It was so moving to see the thousands of people drawn to London to pay their respects and lay flowers, after which they returned home to continue with their everyday lives and the Royal family were afforded some space to grieve in private.
Of course, most of the beautiful floral tributes will have, by now, withered but memories of the much-loved Queen will live on and be passed down through the generations. It is my prayer that through the Queen’s life and death, people will be pointed to the one under whom she served and the one who reigns over all, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Because Jesus Christ, lives on for eternity and is there for each one of us, just as he was for the Queen and will be for King Charles and future monarchs. He is there for all, whatever our personal circumstances or social class.
The Queen unfailingly honoured her commitment to devote her whole life to the service of her people. When we become Christians, we make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ, the greatest servant of all, and it is certainly my prayer that my commitment to Jesus Christ will be as honourable as her late Majesty’s was to God and to us.
With love and prayers,