The Diamond Jubilee – A Quiet Reflection
You can’t have missed the fact that the Poms have been out in the dismal London rain (I believe they call it “summer”) celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year. And if there’s one thing the Poms know how to do – it’s pomp and ceremony.
But all that celebrating got me to thinking. What would our world look like if those of us who are subjects of the King of Kings, celebrated Him, the way the British are celebrating their Queen?
What is it About Royalty?
Whether one is a monarchist or a republican, you have to hand it to Her Majesty – she has executed her office so faithfully over so many years. And at a time when those living in the United Kingdom and across the wider Europe have so little to celebrate, there’s literally been dancing in the streets!
What is it about the Queen that elicits such a response? Why is this such a big deal in the psyche not just of the British, but much of the rest of the world?
A Personal Experience
I remember when I was training to be an Army Officer at the Royal Military College Duntroon – the Queen came and reviewed our parade. Every military unit has what they call “colours” – banners – the regimental colour and the Queen’s colour. During a parade, whoever its the most senior reviewing officer is given a “General Salute” when the soldiers present arms and the colours are lowered.
Now whilst the Regimental Colour can be lowered to the ground for a reviewing officer above a certain rank, the Queen’s Colour is only ever lowered to the ground for one person – the Queen herself. Not even the Governor General will have the colours lowered to the ground for him or her.
It’s a powerful symbol of Sovereign loyalty and to this day – even though I’m a republican at heart – that day when we were reviewed by the Queen and the Queen’s Colour was lowered to the ground, remains one of the most spine tingling and memorable days of my life.
What’s that about?!
A Desire to Worship
I’ve thought a lot about that, and I think that there’s something in us that wants to bow down to someone or something greater than ourselves. It speaks of a desire to worship. It’s been around since humanity happened on this earth. And in my mind it is evidence in itself, that far from having evolved out of the amoebic primeval slime, a Creator breathed life into us.
As I watched the pomp and pageantry on my TV screen, I couldn’t help but wonder what this world would look like if God’s people worshipped Him like that. Not just once every 60 years. Not even just once on Sunday. But every day. Every moment of every day. Every breath we make and every step we take.
There was such joy on those faces that I saw interviewed down there by the River Thames – they were cold and drenched, their hair was straggly and yet they were filled with joy at having “worshipped” their Sovereign Queen. In the cold, in the wet, in the gloom of the dark cloud of financial uncertainty, there shone a bright light of joy in the hearts of many.
The Heart of Worship
And it seems to me that that’s exactly what worship does. When we bow our lives down in worship of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords – something amazing happens that completely defies our circumstances.
Worship is the most selfless act of humanity. And without doubt, it is the thing that brings the greatest joy to our hearts.
That’s why I want to weep when I see those who call themselves by His name – Christians – wasting the opportunity to worship their King. Singing songs with boredom. Living their lives in boredom.
What’s the matter with us, that we so want to squander the greatest gift God has given us – the opportunity to worship our King?!
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2:8-20)
Rian you said what I was trying to find the words to fit how I was feeling. I admire and respect the queen, but in no way worship her,(nor athletes, politicians, statues etc) my admiration stems from a life lived for her subjects and doing her duty at all times with dignity. Perhaps as Christians if we made more of a fuss of Jesus as our King of Kings and shouted loud and proud in our praises, non christians would see the life He dutifully lived and died for us, with dignity and love and how that love still shines on us every day no matter what challenges or trials we are going through. He has reigned for over 2000 years yet only at Easter and Christmas (Christmas is debatable) do we celebrate but only the RC view of statues, rules and people bowing to the Pope seem to get televised. Long may she reign but our King of Kings is with us always
Spot on Faye.
Great opportunity Berni to remind us all that Jesus is a King although his Kingdom is not of this world but inside us all. I also couldnt help but think of Him as I watched the celebrations and the thought crossed my mind that we need to remember how truly blessed we are that we all get to spend one on one time with the King of Kings, how awesome is our God.
What a timely comment! I agree.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Personally,I find republicanism loathesome. Nevertheless, let the Bible have the final say.
1 Peter 2:17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
Mark 12:17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.
I think that sums it up, especially when we have a Christian monarch and an overtly Christian instituion.
The following sentence…
I think that there’s something in us that wants to bow down to someone or something greater than ourselves. It speaks of a desire to worship.
This is exactly what the bible teacher I follow David Pawson
said, He said in one of his speeches that…
God made us in such a way, so there is always a need for us to worship
And indeed, we tend to worship everything in life other than GOD…
We worship Athletes, Messi, Ronaldo
We worship Singers/Actors…, Jolie, Pitt, etc.
We worship Politicians, When they get elected, the celebrations in a whole country almost appear that they’re going to SAVES US. And yet what happens after a few years time?
I’m not even 30 y.o, but I’ll tell you what…, I’ve been blessed that I have lived in number of countries in my life…, and you know what?
I’ve lived in countries in which have been in conflict with the British Empire in the past and now. And People see the Queen of England with a complete set of eyes. Who’s right or wrong?
And so the Queen to me is just like any other politician.
The only people I’ve learnt to follow over the years is those who truly follow GOD.
Here is a very good short summary speech, by a very Good Bible Teacher…
What Kind of God do you believe in? By David Pawson
the celebration also made me wonder what the celebrtion will be like when Jesus returns.the other word that comes to mind is awe..?
Hi Berni, I understand what the celebration is all about and also we need the leaders to be vocal about christianity especially if we call ourselves christians. Today’s trend is that if you are a celebrity people will be present as it’s all about sight and less about faith. THE CLOSER OUR WALK WITH HIM, the less we need to see. God Bless.
Me too, I don’t think it is worship but respect for a person who has so committed her life to the role that was thrust upon her by birth, and it’s a celebration of how well she has done it for so long! yes, the poms know how to mark an ocassion with pomp and ceremony alright! but Revelation 4, wow! GBU Berni and thanks
I think the fact that she has governed not just the British people but also represented the countless peoples of the Commonwealth with such dedication, combined with her length of service, is why she is being celebrated far more than an American president….or British PM…..how many have there been in 60 years?!!
Keep up your good work, which I support wholeheartedly, God bless you, but you’re not getting the Ashes back for quite some time! Lol
What an exciting picture, Berni, I agree with you – our wonderful God deserves no less than our constant worship and praise. During my prayer time each morning I make a decision to walk closely all day, but when I begin my day, unfortunately, the reality of life seems to push that decision aside and a lot of time may pass before I think of Him again. Do you have a solution to help us concentrate on the One important Person?
Hi Ruth. I’m not sure we were ever meant to live our lives in some constant state of spiritual super-connectedness to God. Although, it’s great always to be close to Him. Brother Lawrence (after whom the Brotherhood of St Lawrence was named) years ago wrote a delightful little book called the “Practice of the Presence of God. In it He writes this”:
“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it; yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive. It is not pleasure which we ought to seek in this exercise; but let us do it from a principle of love, and because God would have us.”
Not a bad place to start I would have thought …
Hi Berni and all reading this. May God bless you.
That is a brilliant quote. It is right to honour those in rullership over us but not to worship them. Our Queen is worthy of our honour and respect. She’s done a great job and an example to us all.
I’m a Pom, living in Brisbane, and a devoted Christian. I served in the British Army myself, so I know exactly what you’re saying Berni, with regards that spine tingling sensation when the colours are lowered. However, I have to disagree with you that the people are ‘worshiping’ the Queen, it’s a celebration, yes, on a grand scale, but this is the Diamond Jubilee! A time to reflect and celebrate the head of state and the job she has done with dignity and grace (not many of the Royals fit that description I grant you),for 60 years.
May we all reflect as Christians, celebrate, and worship the Lord indeed, and may God save the Queen!
Trevor, I hear what you’re saying about worship and yes, it’s something that I was toying with as I was writing – which is why I put “worship” in inverted commas. I rarely struggle for words, but this is one area where I did. It’s not quite worship, and yet we treat the Queen like no one else on earth. There’s something in our psyche that makes her more special than, say, the President of the United States or the UN Secretary General. There’s something that makes us want to adore her – is that a better word?
Anyhow, it’s great to know that God even lets Poms into the Kingdom. Now that’s grace!! 🙂 LOL