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June 2012 - The Queen's Promise...

This month opens with the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, which will be celebrated all over the nation and the Commonwealth. The last Royal Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria’s in 1897, so this is a spectacular occasion!
Queen Elizabeth II has reigned through 60 years of fast-moving, momentous, worldwide change – times of great joy and deep sorrow, of catastrophe and triumph. The Queen has kept going through it all, remaining Head of the nation and, with her family, fulfilling countless engagements. Many people cannot remember a time when the Queen was not on the throne and making appearances. At 86 years old, she is one of the best-known people on earth, with vast experience and quiet wisdom.

When she became monarch in 1952, Elizabeth II made a solemn public promise – to serve all her subjects faithfully, to the best of her ability. How has the Queen managed to keep this promise and carry out this staggering feat of endurance over six decades?

I suggest two things have made it possible. The first is her faith in God, which she takes seriously and practises every day. At her Coronation in 1953, the heart of the ceremony in Westminster Abbey was not the crowning, but the anointing (a ceremony going back in this country over 1000 years, which has its roots in the Old Testament), a sign that the Monarch is chosen and empowered by God, not just by people. The Queen prays and looks to God for strength to fulfil that call.

Secondly, there is the love of her family, especially the untiring support of Prince Philip.
There are lessons for us all here. We each need the help of other people. It is in life together that we find purpose, comfort and strength to keep going. Secondly, we cannot keep a promise just in our own strength, whether in marriage, family life, or anything else. Faith in God gives vision, wisdom, courage and strength to guide our life’s journey in ways that are truly satisfying. There is no substitute for faith in God, who has made his perfect love and unending faithfulness known to us, supremely in Jesus Christ.

God save the Queen – and all of us!


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