During September the nation was under a cloud of mourning. For our late Queen Elizabeth had served for 70 years and 214 days and was an outstanding role model. It was a truly remarkable reign or, better still to say, hers was a truly remarkable life. An early quote reveals her intentions: ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong. But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share it.’ (21st birthday radio address, 1947)
Many people spoke of Her Majesty’s consistency and faithfulness. She fulfilled her role of serving the nation and commonwealth with such ableness. She was a truly great ambassador in the conduct of her life and Christian faith. This is even more remarkable when you consider the degree of public scrutiny under which she lived out her life during her 96 years. Yet she tenaciously held onto many Christian principles that proved to be a guide for her and an inspiration to others. What sustained the Queen during difficult times? In her own words we learn: ‘To many of us our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.’ (2000)
The Apostle Paul was aware of how closely the world watches Christians lives, especially, but not exclusively, those in positions of leadership. He wrote to fellow Christian believers: ‘Follow me, as I follow Christ’ (1 Corinthians 11v1). His responsibilities were heavy, and the challenges he faced were often life threatening.
But he did not view his duties as a drudgery. It involved self-sacrificial service, giving up many personal freedoms for the benefit of others to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. It involved knowing the scriptures well, so that in his guidance of others he repeatedly referred to the scriptures and showed how to follow Christ’s teachings. Paul also prayed and encouraged others to give self-sacrificial service.
We thank God for the life of the late servant of God and nation. Inspired by Her Majesty’s example let’s also dedicate ourselves to follow Christ.