I guess the main event we saw this month in the UK was the death of our dear Queen, the funeral, all the mourning, and the lying-in-state.
“In 1947, on her 21st birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples. That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life. She made sacrifices for duty. …
And, as every member of my family can testify, she combined these qualities with warmth, humour and an unerring ability always to see the best in people. “I pay tribute to my Mother’s memory and I honour her life of service. I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share that sense of loss, beyond measure, with you all. …
In the course of the last 70 years, we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths. The institutions of the State have changed in turn. But, through all changes and challenges, our nation and the wider family of Realms – of whose talents, traditions and achievements I am so inexpressibly proud – have prospered and flourished. Our values have remained, and must remain, constant. The role and the duties of Monarchy also remain, as does the Sovereign’s particular relationship and responsibility towards the Church of England – the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted. In that faith, and the values it inspires, I have been brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others, and to hold in the greatest respect the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government.
As The Queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the Constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.”
King Charles III remembers the Queen
Remarkably, this event gave many opportunities for the Gospel to be shared, for God to ‘get a look in’ on the news; even for Jesus, together, to ‘look in’ on the news! Amazing!
The Queen’s funeral was described by the media as the most watched Christian service in history. It was viewed by about 4 billion people around the world, and it was a brilliant spectacle in what the British do very well: putting on these great events with Pomp and Circumstance.
There was a lot of queuing but also the sooner itself was definitely honouring to God to Jesus and to the face of the Queen.
In fact, if people managed to get beyond the Pomp and Circumstance, and they listened to the words of the funeral, they would have heard a traditional Christian funeral service with no wok(e)ish nonsense and no multi-faith nonsense, focusing on the scriptures and on faith in Jesus Christ, which was very pleasing for those of us who are Christians.
They would have heard a traditional communal service telling us about the resurrection of Jesus as the way into the Kingdom of Heaven with Bible readings like this one:
A wonderful scripture from 1 Corinthians in which Paul affirms the fact that Jesus is the One who rose from the dead and in whom, those who believe in Him, can have a hope in the resurrection of the dead.
This reading was also followed by a reading from John 14 which contains Jesus’ promise:
“I will come again” (Revelation 2.16) Praise the Lord! As well as the statement “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14.6) read by our beloved prime minister Liz Truss.
Praise God! Let’s hope that she may even have thought about it and indeed some of the assembled dignitaries from other faiths and from all over the world who were there.
This was followed by Justin Welby the Archbishop of Canterbury who I thought ‘Oh no! What’s he going to say now?’ But he was – one has to say – good! He spoke eloquently about the Queen’s faith in God, her understanding of the Gospel message, her hope in the resurrection of the dead through faith in Jesus Christ. And he also spoke about our accountability to God. He called on the world leaders to acknowledge this.
How much actually sunk in? Only God knows.
But it’s a remarkable fact that you had so many world leaders, different faith leaders, as well as half the world’s population being told about a woman who believed in Jesus Christ as the One who is able to give us eternal life in heaven and that they were also reminded that, one day, they must give account to God of themselves.
We can hope that something may have come across and, of course, the funeral service in Windsor ended with the words from Revelation:
So, praise God! There was a bit of ‘Good News’ coming out in the news.