What an opportunity! What a gift from above! It’s hardly ever going to be easier to begin a conversation about values, beliefs, faith in general, and Christianity in particular than in the next two weeks.
With such a media focus on the Queen, and with more than ten million people planning to be at Jubilee parties, one of the most natural questions you can ask anyone is: what do you think of the Queen?
And it hardly matters whether they are radical republicans or militant monarchists, whether they are indifferent or mega-fans, atheists or Jedis, 9, 19, or 90, you will almost certainly get an opportunity to offer some insight into what she herself has said about what’s important to her.
And according to Her Majesty, what’s most important to her is Christ. It is he, she is convinced, who called her to the crown, he whose servant example inspires her, he whose teaching guides her, and he whose strength empowers her. And it is to him that she sees herself accountable.
Of course, other conversational connection points abound.
Interested in women in leadership? Look no further.
Looking for a role model of a young person taking on a big job? She did at 25.
Saddened by the sense of entitlement and lack of integrity of international leaders? Go compare.
Concerned about racism and the legacy of our imperial past? Here’s the woman whose grace, relational skills, and determination transformed our former colonies into the warm, cooperative, egalitarian fellowship that is the Commonwealth.
Looking for a national leader with a genuine concern for the poor? In over 50 of her 70 Christmas addresses the Queen calls us all to proactive neighbour love for the marginalised, the excluded, the grieving. More significantly, perhaps, she has spent a huge amount of time visiting hospitals, shelters, youth initiatives, care homes, the 600 charities she supports…
Of course, the Queen is not perfect, no saint, except in the New Testament sense. Indeed, in New Testament terms, she has also been a winsome witness, a humble servant, and a faithful ambassador. An example and challenge to us all.
So it is that this coming fortnight represents a marvellous opportunity to help our colleagues, friends, and family celebrate the Queen for who she really is, and to give the credit for all that she has achieved where she does – at the feet of Christ.
Mission Champion, LICC