Thank you for joining us today to give thanks to God for the long reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. For 70 years she has served this country to the very best of her ability, driven by a deep sense of duty to this country and to God.
For seven decades, the Queen has gifted us with her time and energy. Since ascending to the throne in 1952, she has been a focus for unity in our nation.
As our constitutional monarch, she has been a non-political head of state who has helped sustain our country’s morale through many challenging times – not least through the recent coronavirus pandemic. Who can forget her TV address in the Spring of 2020, when she promised us in the midst of lockdown that “we’ll meet again”?
And as head of the Commonwealth the Queen has worked tirelessly to achieve unity, mutual understanding and common purpose among 54 very different nations. Under her leadership, the Commonwealth continues to work together to achieve prosperity, democracy and peace for all.
Its no secret that Her Majesty is also a woman of sincere Christian faith. During her annual Christmas broadcasts she has often made reference to her faith in Jesus Christ.
For example, in her Christmas broadcast in the year 2000 she said that “For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life” and in her 2014 broadcast she added that: “Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace…is an inspiration and an anchor in my life.”
There is no doubt that the Queen recognises Jesus as her personal Saviour, Lord and King. Despite being our nation’s Sovereign and the Church of England’s Supreme Governor, our Queen acknowledges Jesus as a higher authority over her – as the king of kings from whom she has received such strength, grace and guidance during her long reign.
Today is the feast of Pentecost, the day when Christians celebrate the very first outpouring of the Holy Spirit by the risen and ascended Jesus. We heard about the events of that great day in our reading just now.
And ever since that day, Christians of every nation have been given God’s Spirit as a source of strength and guidance in our own lives. If we put our faith in Jesus, his Spirit will take up residence within our hearts, to guide us and strengthen us, just as he has done in the life of our Queen.
Whether we are a prince or a pauper, King Jesus wants to give us all new life within our hearts by his Holy Spirit. Whatever country we come from, the Holy Spirit gives every follower of Jesus a new life – a life with meaning, purpose and hope for eternity.
So today as we give thanks for our Queen’s faithful service, let’s not forget the King whom she has served, and the Holy Spirit who has sustained her.
Let me end with words spoken by the Queen in her 2011 Christmas broadcast: “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 we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.” Amen.
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