As a history buff I have spent the weekend pouring over the newspapers and glued to the television, as we farewell Queen Elizabeth 2, and welcome King Charles 3! What a momentous event in our history as we watch not only the outpouring of grief and gratitude, but also the pomp and ceremony of proclaiming a new King.
A couple of things have caught my attention –
- In an age of individualism and an attitude of ‘let’s live for the moment’, I have been struck by the way in which the Queen is being revered for a person of duty, steadfastness and selflessness. Could it be that our society still yearns for these qualities? For people to be committed to a cause bigger than themselves. A vision that captures the imagination so totally, that it demands a life-time of sacrifice and service. These attributes are being universally admired and respected; not dismissed as anachronistic or old-fashioned.
- Kings and Queens are unquestionably worthy of pomp and ceremony. The rituals we are seeing enacted have been done so for many hundreds of years and seem to be bringing comfort and reassurance that all will be well. The change of monarchy is progressing in the way that it should! The nostalgia of the pomp and ceremony, the livery of the uniforms, the grandeur of the music, the scale of the operation; all these things seem right and proper, and certainly deserving of a monarch just passed, and one to come.
- The length of the Queen’s reign is something to be celebrated. Rarely have we seen service of such length and carried out to the end by someone of such age! Her longevity is to be admired; unlikely to be seen again over the coming generations. This longevity has brought stability to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Of course, this all leads us to reflect on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ!
In living out of the biblical story, focussing on the gospel of Jesus Christ, we indeed are captured by a story bigger than ourselves. This story invites us to live a life of selfless love, poured out in sacrifice to others as we point to the never-ending reign of Christ.
The promises of this eternal story brings hope and stability for the future. We know how the story ends and because of this we have confidence for our future!
And finally, may we never forget that our eternal King is due all our worship and praise. Nothing on earth will ever capture the ‘pomp and ceremony’ that our King deserves. The following chorus captures my heart at this time...
Majesty, worship His Majesty.
Unto Jesus be all glory, honour and praise!
Majesty, Kingdom Authority,
Flow from His throne, unto His own
His anthem raise!