23 April, 2016

Address on occasion of HM The Queen 90th Birthday - "I Serve"

Matthew 20:25-28
(An extract of Princess Elizabeth 21st Birthday message to the Commonwealth was read after two readings from Scripture.)

The greatest among you must be the servant of all. (Cf. Matthew 20:26)
The Coronation Supertunica
This instruction Jesus gives to his followers is echoed in the words of promise spoken by a young Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday. As future Queen pledged to serve her people, little would she have known that 69 years later – after many dramatic world events – her people would still be wishing her “Happy Birthday”. Yet, at that time Princess Elizabeth knew that although God was calling her to the highest and most prestigious office of all, her core vocation was to serve.
“I serve”, she said, and undoubtedly Queen Elizabeth has been true to her pledge. Through the decades she has fulfilled her duty without wavering; she has provided understated counsel to 12 Prime Ministers in this country alone; she has shown inspiring resilience in the face of both national and personal crises; and, it ought to be said, she has remained true to her word even when the Crown was being attacked by disloyal subjects.

All these examples of service to her people would be reasons enough for giving thanks to God. Yet, there is another aspect about the Queen’s promise to serve for which we should thank God all the more, and this is her faith. In her service Queen Elizabeth has pointed out that faith in Jesus Christ, the Christian faith, is the only sure foundation upon which to build our lives. 
Let me remind you of few examples. In the words we have just heard, the Queen’s pledge to service is made in prayer and complete trust in God. Years later, as her Coronation was approaching, she prepared herself through prayer and personal devotion for a whole month to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit as Sovereign. In her broadcasts she has spoken about the life of Jesus Christ. And finally, throughout her life the Queen Elizabeth has been faithful in attending church services.
As a faithful leader and servant, the Queen points out to Christ as the only source of life and stability; and her faith remains an example for us all.

The second verse of the National Anthem sings,
‘May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen’
On this joyful occasion, as we look back over 90 glorious years of a life devoted to service, we can see that Her Majesty has indeed given us many reasons to sing with heart and voice, “God save the Queen”. And for all these, may God – the almighty Sovereign of all – always be thanked and praised. Amen.

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