The entire world senses that with the death of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, it is not just the passing of a great person and great monarch, but the passing of an era. For seventy years, she reigned over the United Kingdom, Canada and the Commonwealth as an exemplary Head of State, bringing incomparable dignity, grace, and devotion to duty to an immensely difficult task. From the very beginning of her reign, she promised before God to serve her people. She is so outstanding in our era because she kept her promises, and she genuinely understood leadership as servant-leadership.
In Matthew 23:11 we read, “he who is greatest among you must be your servant.” The Queen understood that and lived it out among us.
Langham Partnership has a personal connection to the Queen. Our founder John Stott was a Chaplain to the Queen. When he reached the (normal) retirement year of seventy, Her Majesty conferred on him the very rare honour of naming him an “Extra Chaplain”, so he could continue in her service. He was a house guest at Sandringham, and preached to the Royal Household. Her deep and lively Christian faith shone through in her public life, and she testified to it every year in her annual Christmas messages.
In her first-ever Christmas message the Queen said, “Pray for me … that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life.” Queen Elizabeth was unequivocal that her Christian faith was central to her life and her ability to carry out her duties so well and faithfully for so many years.
In his splendid tribute, Rev. Canon J. John said: “Physically, the Queen was a small woman but the title Majesty was totally appropriate for her. She was a little lady with a very big God. In the first of the Beatitudes Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ This was a woman who recognized that the only way to rule an earthly kingdom was to seek a heavenly one. Our circumstances may bear very little comparison with hers but the way she lived out her faith should inspire us all. Our world is shaken but our God stands firm. Kings and queens pass away; the eternal God does not.”
Now Her Majesty has received her eternal crown. May she Rest In Peace.