Parish Magazine Article - June 2022

Hello Everyone,

As I write this we are preparing to celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee. Whatever your view about having a hereditary monarch from a historical point of view most of us alive today will not see such a long serving monarch again in our lifetime.  This truly is therefore a once in a lifetime event and may never take place again. Queen Elizabeth the Second came to the throne 70 years ago she has already reigned longer than Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years and 7 months and King George III who reigned for 59 years and 96 days. This is a significant historical event and it should be marked with appropriate national celebration.  Some of you reading this may have met the Queen and have very clear memories of that moment and the impact it made.  The jubilee coincides with Pentecost and the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ global wave of prayer organised by the church and it strikes me this is entirely appropriate given that the Queen has such a strong personal faith. As she herself has said on many occasions, it is her personal faith that guides her actions and her life.

"To many of us our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ's words and example." (Christmas message, 2000)

Whilst it is easy to complain or write off royalty as an historic anachronism, which has no place in, the 21st Century we are fortunate in our nation to have a Queen who has publically stated her belief in Jesus and takes seriously her role as head of the Church of England. She recognises as so many of us have that there is a better way to live our lives and that trust in Jesus is at the heart of that life.  It does not matter who we are or what our circumstances God does not judge by our race, gender, age or many other things we use as humans to divide and discriminate he judges the heart. When Samuel was called to anoint a new King over Israel, he had to learn the same lesson that God did not choose the obvious candidates.

“When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord. ”But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:6-7

The challenge for us is to ask ourselves what guides our lives and shapes who we are?  Do we simply live for ourselves or do we recognise that there is a better way of living that God has provided for us through the death and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ. The offer to live God’s way is constantly available to us but we must choose it. As the writer of the book of Revelation says Jesus stands at the door of our lives and longs for us to let him in.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Revelation 3:20

Whatever our view of the Queen as an earthly monarch as Christians we believe in a King and a Kingdom which is everlasting and without end. Our service and allegiance is not to the United Kingdom but to God’s Kingdom something our Queen understands and acknowledges.  We can and should celebrate the Queen’s 70 years of service to our nation shaped by her faith, calling and determination to serve God. We should also remember as Paul taught Timothy to pray for her and our nation’s leaders but remember too that the faith she so often speaks about is available to all of us too.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings, queens and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”

1 Timothy 2:1-5

 

 

The Ven Derek Chedzey

Archdeacon of Hereford