Reflecting on Queen Elizabeth II

Reflecting on Queen Elizabeth II

Earlier this year our nation lost its longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Whatever our opinion on the Royal Family, there is a lot we can learn from the Queen’s life of service and the example she set in her faith.

She reigned through 15 prime ministers and throughout her 70 years on the throne, she was a constant in a rapidly changing and evolving world. The Queen lived her life in service to others. She carried out more than 15,000 official engagements visiting charities and schools, hosting visiting heads of state and leading the nation in Remembrance and celebratory events.  

When she died it was quite a surreal moment. It was something we always knew was going to happen but we never expected the inevitable. For some people there was relief and a gladness that her reign had come to an end. Others experienced a deep grief and sense of loss even though they did not know the Queen personally.  

Let’s put her title of Queen to one side for a moment and look at the life of a person who was consistently in the public eye and in a society more increasingly hostile to Christianity, she never shied away from proclaiming the Gospel and sharing her faith. In 2020 she shared the parable of the Good Samaritan and said that throughout the pandemic: “The teachings of Christ have served as my inner light.” Queen Elizabeth was not one to mince words when it came to the Gospel. She made this very clear during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations: “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.” 

The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:12 to ‘honour those who are your leaders in the Lord’ which is why we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the life of the Queen as the leader of the Church of England and ‘Defender of the Faith’ for the past 70 years. We recognise that for some of our readers, the Queen may have represented oppression and an imperialistic attitude to the world that no longer belongs in our society. But she was also a loyal ruler, who heralded the Gospel in a nation that began to denounce the name of Jesus. The Office for National Statistics has just reported that less than half of the UK would call themselves Christians and, while many may feel discouraged, we feel excited that people are soberly assessing their understanding of what it truly means to accept Jesus. Now, as we see many asking the right questions about God, we are filled with joy to know that for 70 years, our Head of State remained on her knees in prayer for a turning of the tide.  

Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered for many things but it is so important we remember the example of her faith, her life of service, and her passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus.  

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