After 70 years of dedicated service to her God, country and commonwealth and 96 years breathing in and channelling God’s grace on earth, Queen Elizabeth II is at Rest. Whatever your view of royalty and monarchy, most people recognise a life lived well. She moved humbly in the shadow of Shaddai and was lit up by the Humility, Humour & Love of her true King, Jesus.
At the start of The Queen’s reign she promised, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service”. And, in her meeting with new prime minister Liz Truss in Balmoral just days before breathing her last, her majesty illustrated a wholehearted devotion and commitment to fulfilling this calling to serve us.
Some of us feel very disorientated and grief stricken, our world rocked by The Queen’s passing, and such loss must be processed in natural ways. But can I point us to the bigger picture and reality, which our Queen humbly still exists within?
In the face of great grief after losing his sovereign and period of royal, religious & political transition, ancient prophet Isaiah’s eyes were lifted to a greater reality, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.” (Isaiah 6:1) Despite death and sorrow, today God is still God, and King Jesus remains enthroned, Sovereign Orchestrator and Sustainer Supreme. God Almighty, All-knowing, All-present, All-loving is still in Charge, however wobbly our world feels.
After such an awe-inspiring vision of God’s Glory, Isaiah is shown the great need around him and hears God’s voice, “Who will go for me?” Multiplying needs that surround us can easily paralyse like a rabbit transfixed by car headlights. Fear and anxiety can stop us from taking time to lift our eyes to recognise God’s greatness, goodness & glory, and prevent us from becoming channels of God’s Hope, Purpose & Peace. Isaiah saw God, saw a need, and saw that he (Isaiah) could help meet that need, so he stepped up, “Here I am God, send me!” Thus, Isaiah was drawn into lifelong humble, difficult, and often humbling, service.
Today, it’s not just the new King Charles III whom God calls into service, it’s ‘you & me’! For Queen Elizabeth & Isaiah, it was often a thankless task fulfilling duty and calling, but they faithfully persevered. By God’s Grace, may each of us be spurred and inspired to follow Jesus in down-to-earth humble service. As family, national & international mourning and thanksgiving is poured out over these days, Queen Elizabeth has been promoted beyond our sight and her inspirational memory will live long in our hearts. The need for us to live similar selfless lives ‘in Christ’ is great, but ‘praise be’, God is still on the throne! Dear Queen Elizabeth, Ma’am may you rest in peace and rise in glory.