The picture above is the frontage for the Church in which I am speaking tomorrow. I don’t know whether it is intentional or not but I do like the contrast between the scarecrow figure in the Church window, representing the Queen and the poster on the board. Indeed I like it so much that I`m taking it as my sermon theme tomorrow.
Whilst I wouldn`t describe myself as an ardent royalist I do believe that the Queen has served this country well throughout her time. Her promise 60 years ago at her coronation (pictured above right) “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service” has surely been fulfilled. We have seen her carrying on with her duties despite family problems, terrorist attacks, her country engaged in warfare, her beloved Uncle (Lord Mountbatten) murdered, the fire at her much-loved Windsor Castle and her country in recession. Despite all this she has remained resolute in her determination to fulfill her responsibilities, and most people (even if not in favour of the Monarchy) acknowledge this.
I also believe she has been a wonderful advocate for the Christian faith as year after year she has proclaimed her belief in Jesus Christ through her Christmas messages and elsewhere. Whilst paying respect and honour to other faiths, she has never denied hers. Last Christmas she proclaimed “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.” What a statement of belief ! As Christians we should be rejoicing in a Monarch who seems to know her place before God almighty.
It is my opinion that it is this wonderful faith in God and Jesus Christ that has been the inspiration in her life; Tomorrow is Trinity Sunday, the day when Christians acknowledge each part of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and tomorrow I will be dwelling on how the Trinity expresses love and through that love, service. It is the same with Queen Elizabeth 2nd; she expresses her love for her people through the service she has given, throughout her life. She has literally given of her life in service to this country and to the commonwealth. Yes, we might say that she has been rewarded with a life of luxury, but she has remained resolute in her duty.
I will be trying to share how Jesus expressed love by serving his people ultimately to the cross and death, but with God raising him from the dead, conquering sin and death for us. Jesus, who washed the dirt and grime from the feet of his disciples, washes the sin from us by granting us forgiveness; what a wonderful act of service to us.
However, it is also a challenge to us all; how much do we desire to serve others in the way that Jesus serves us ? Can we wash the feet of others as He did ? Can we reach out and hug the outcasts or befriend those whose lifestyle offends us ? Can we speak to other faiths as Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman ? or do we have the sort of faith that is judgemental and condemnatory ?
Our Queen doesn`t compromise her beliefs but similarly manages to serve ALL of her people without exception. Jesus Christ loved and in his life served all people. So should we, but are we prepared to ?
In the midst of our Jubilee celebrations, as we rejoice over the years of service (or moan about it all because we`re not monarchists), let us spare a moment to examine our own lives and ask………………
“Do we reflect the life of Christ in our service of others ?”