“For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he stretched 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.” (Queen Elizabeth II, Christmas message, 2014)
Some personal thoughts . . .
Today, Sept. 8, 2022, the world is in deep mourning. And yet, as the Lord as told us:
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13, NIV).
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was a world leader whose understanding was undeniably entrenched in the traditions and wisdom of the past, while keeping flexible and intensely aware of the present. By her own admission, she applied Christ’s person, work and principles to both the past and the present, with the hope of Christ personally, and for this world, her eyes ever fixed toward the future.
As a longtime student of history, I have grown most appreciative of her leadership in the world. Human leadership will always be imperfect, but hers was sterling in an age of moral compromise. Many may not have agreed with her on all things, and some even doubt that there should still be an English monarchy at all; but who did not respect her consistent high character and able rule, and who did not greatly admire her?
The homely little mountain wildflowers are Southern sundrops, of the Evening Primrose family. I photographed them on top of Newfound Gap at the ridge between Tennessee and North Carolina in the Smoky Mountains this weekend. The top of the mountain was shrouded in a morning mist of cloud that both exhilarated and caused quiet, reverent wonder. In the background are the sunny rudbeckias (“Black-eyed Susans”), ever cheerful even though common. The bright golden colors just spoke to me.
That morning on the ridge of the Smokies, I felt a sense of the world in mourning and yet also a sense of great joy. The moisture coalesced in dew on the sundrops and nodded their little sunny heads downward as though they wept without losing hope. I felt it keenly as though it portended something deeply important. When I learned of “our” Queen’s passing today and then came again upon this photograph, the connection was made.
Today, we mourn the loss not just of a passing head of state, but of an icon of consistent, resilient character important to the whole world.
We mourn the loss of a remarkable woman who stood reverently, capably and wisely in a man’s role without losing her gentle femininity or sense of family; she was and still is in retrospect many years ahead of her times.
Moreover, we mourn the loss of a Christian sister, who, with all due respect, would not shy from that equanimous role, but would glory in it—now that the crown and all its responsibility has safely passed on.
Today she has stepped down from her old role and has shed her earthly burdens and sorrows.
Today, my dear sister in Christ, whom I have so long admired and have prayed for over the years, has taken on all the joys, beauty and freedom of her faith in Christ. No longer a world power, she is now something far greater: a tried-and-proven-faithful saint of God at rest.
Truly, the Lord’s benediction rests on her: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21 KJV).
The sunshine cheeriness of both the background Susans and the resiliency of the weeping sundrops I feel are appropriate . . . for my own misty, hope-filled grief, at least.
With great admiration and respect for all the Royal Family,
and with deepest prayers for wisdom, strength, faith, and peace for King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla,
and with deepest prayers for all of Great Britain and the new Prime Minister and heads of state,
Tamara at ReadPsalm119.com
“Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive… It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.” (Queen Elizabeth II, Christmas message, 2011)
For more quotes from Queen Elizabeth II, please visit Mark Green’s “10 Brilliant Things the Queen Has Said About God”, at PremierChristianity.com. “Mark Greene is Mission Champion at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) He is author of The Queen’s Way – A Celebration of Biblical Discipleship in Public Life (LICC) and co-author of million-copy selling The Servant Queen and the King She Serves (Bible Society)”
LET US WORSHIP TOGETHER: