Loyalty and faithfulness
Reflections on the occasion of the Royal Jubilee.
Back in February I was privileged to go to Buckingham Palace, part if a Free Churches delegation, to offer a Loyal Address to her Majesty the Queen for her Diamond Jubilee.
Some twenty or so Privileged Bodies each presented an address which acknowledged the Queen’s faithfulness to her duty as Monarch as well as offering the loyalty of her people.
More recently I was reading the recollection of someone who had witnessed the Coronation, who had been most struck by the young lady who in a simple white shift-dress was then gradually adorned with all the symbols of Monarchy, increasingly weighing her down with responsibility and, in some senses, overcoming this young person. The Queen’s duty to her people was accepted and has been fulfilled ever since with unwavering loyalty.
Listening to the Loyal Addresses I could not help but reflect that the loyalty had not been unwavering in the other direction! How sincere were the sentiments being expressed on this very formal occasion?Was this all a big charade for the sake of history? After all there have been periods when the Monarchy has not been ‘flavour of the month’ and the loyalty of the people has not been solid.
A significant element of the Queen’s faithfulness to her duty has been her belief that her monarchy has been a calling of God. This leads me to further reflection on our loyalty to God and our faithfulness in our living as Christians, as people of God for whom he is the supreme and heavenly King? Are we secure in our relationship with Christ or are we rather ‘easy come – easy go’ in this, as in our attitude to the Monarchy?
One of the things that impresses most in relation to Her Majesty is that the fickle nature of the people’s loyalty has not caused her to waver. Her faithfulness to duty is dependable and a given. Similarly and thankfully, God’s faithfulness towards us, his people, is dependable and is not conditional on our response.
As John puts it in his first letter, ‘ it is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.’
God is faithful to us despite our unfaithfulness and he comes to us in Jesus to demonstrate this and his forgiveness.
We are celebrating Jubilee this month. As Christians we can recall that Jubilee for God’s people was and is a time to recognise God’s forgiveness, our release from indebtedness. We may appropriately wave our Union Jacks or have a drink in honour of Her Majesty the Queen, but as we do so we might also be thankful to God for the faithfulness she reflects, which is God’s faithfulness to us in Jesus
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