Jun 4, 2012

Why Christians have good reason to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

As the nation celebrates Christians, in particular, have reason to give thanks.  For we recognise that governing authorities are put in place by God. Paul says in Romans 13v1, there is no authority except that which God has established.

And there can be few countries in the world where Christians have enjoyed greater freedoms and blessing than we have under the reign of our Queen. Anyone living in the UK during the past 60 years has, by and large, enjoyed peace rather than conflict, economic prosperity rather than decline and freedom of worship.

Paul calls on us to  pray for those in authority – 1 Timothy 2 reads:

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Around the world today many Christians are living under leaders who refuse to acknowledge God let alone honour him and as a result they live under fear. I wonder whether we stop to think and stop to thank God for the privileges we have enjoyed during the past 60 years.

In her coronation vows 60 years ago the Queen promised to govern with fairness and mercy and she has. She may be a figure-head for our nation but she is a figure of consistency and of Christian character. John Stott was an honorary chaplain to the queen for over 30 years and spoke of the reality of her Christian faith. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that she may be the last monarch who is Christian in my lifetime.

I want to finish with a quotation from her  Christmas Day message in 2011

The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: ‘Fear not’, they urged, ‘we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

‘For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.’

Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed.

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.

In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there’s a prayer:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem, Descend to us we pray.

Cast out our sin and enter in. Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.

So even if you don’t intend to wave flags or dress in red, white and blue I do hope you’ll join in giving thanks to God for a Queen who for 60 years has fulfilled her duty before God and the nation with utmost consistency.


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