Our servant Queen

This weekend millions of people around the world will join Queen Elizabeth II in celebrating her Platinum Jubilee. The coronation of Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey in London. She acceded to the throne when she was 25, following the death of her father in 1952. During the service, Elizabeth took an oath, was anointed with holy oil, invested with robes and regalia, and was crowned queen of the United Kingdom and six Commonwealth countries.

The new Queen was committed to service. In a radio address on her 21st birthday she had 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. God help me to make good my vow.”

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Queen’s life and reign has been her personal faith in God and her Saviour Jesus Christ. At her coronation she was presented with a Bible. The person presenting it said, “Our gracious Queen: to keep your Majesty ever mindful of the law and the Gospel of God as the rule for the whole life and government of Christian Princes, we present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is Wisdom; this is the royal Law; these are the lively Oracles of God.”

The Queen’s faith has sustained her throughout all the ups and downs of her long life. In 2002 she said, “I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God. I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.”

In her 2013 Christmas Message she said, “For Christians, as for all people of faith, reflection, meditation and prayer help us to renew ourselves in God’s love, as we strive daily to become better people. The Christmas message shows us that this love is for everyone. There is no one beyond its reach. In 2011 she said: “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 we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through faith, hope, and love in Christ our Lord.” One day the Queen will pass into the presence of God, she will see her Saviour face to face and joyfully worship at his feet.

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