The wrestling angel gifted Jacob with a limp as a permanent reminder of his encounter with God. Jacob's life-long policy was to run. His final glory was that he learned to lean (Hebrews 11:21). A wound is a good thing if it is accepted as a stewardship from God, appropriated as a channel of God's strength and consecrated to God's purpose. Where dependence is the objective weakness is the advantage.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Elizabeth II Rocks

26 December

After reading what I thought was an unedited version of the Queen’s annual Christmas address to the nation yesterday I wrote to some friends that the Queen, though never actually mentioning the name "Jesus", actually called Him a Saviour sent into the world by God. Naturally I was delighted by that.

Today when I listened to a BBC Replay of the entire address I was much more encouraged. What I originally wrote was inaccurate, because the version I read had excised the Queen's strongest Christian remarks. No great surprise there.

That gracious lady did indeed refer to JESUS.

“Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds… ‘Fear not,’ they urged, ‘we bring you tidings of great joy which will 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.”

The Queen was not crafting a theological treatise. If she were, we would have hoped she would have gone farther. We would have hoped she would say, “All of history, all our experience, our conscience and Holy Scripture make it overwhelmingly obvious that we do indeed need saving from ourselves ALL THE TIME. We need saving not only from our recklessness and greed but also from our unbelief.”

But I’m grateful for her boldness in going as far as she did. Her words were wisely chosen especially when we consider who her audience is. This Queen has been a consistently underrated superstar. Throughout the address she emphasized our desperate need of forgiveness and love. She is the titular head of the Church of England. She is the reigning monarch over a Kingdom where there are more Muslims at the Mosque on Friday than there are Anglicans at Church on Sunday. It would be too much to hope that the themes of love and forgiveness have been prominent in those Friday meetings in recent years.

The Queen went on:

“God sent into the world a unique Person—not a philosopher nor a general (important as they are), but a Saviour with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families. It can restore friendships. And it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we learn the power of God’s love.

In the last verse of this beautiful carol ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ there is 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.”

Preach it Sister.

God save the Queen, say I.

But I’m pretty sure He already has.


John H said...

Thank you Ronnie. I love reading your posts. I learn a lot from you and I enjoy your style. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Aaron said...

She is indeed an immense asset to Great Britain. There is a story of her talking with the Archbishop of Canterbury after a church service. She asks him whether he believes in hell. He replies 'of course'. The Queen then answers him, 'then why don't you preach about it?'. She is astute.