I listened carefully on Tuesday to the commentary on the funeral processional for Queen Elizabeth as it made its way to Buckingham Palace. Everything was sombre; everything was grand; everything was appropriate. But what I looked for, I did not hear, and that is the spiritual life of a woman who lived her life not only as Queen of nations, but as a Daughter of the King, a precious child of God. You see, it is not common knowledge that almost every speech that Queen Elizabeth gave in her lifetime as the constitutional monarch of the Commonwealth was written for her. They were not her own. Only one speech each year was written by her own hand – her speeches at Christmas.
It was Christmas 2002, as England celebrated her Golden Jubilee (50 years as Queen). That year, Queen Elizabeth II had lost her mother and sister within a few weeks of each other. Yet her Christmas broadcast rang deeply with her commitment as a believer in Christ. She wrote as she expressed the depth of her grief that year, “I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God. Like others of you who draw inspiration from your own faith, I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.”
My mind goes to 1 Timothy 2:2. Paul instructs us to pray for those who are positions of high authority because it is good and pleasing in God’s eyes. Ungodly leadership in many countries has brought about a history of wars and turmoil, corruption and murder, persecution and shame. In India, a government rules with prejudice against believers in Christ; in China, those who print and distribute Bibles are criminally imprisoned; in New Zealand, the prime minister has taken a stand against Christians and enacted anti-conversion laws similar to Pakistan. Then God brings His children into places of authority and the world wonders. This week (September 13, 2022), William Ruto, a committed believer in Jesus became the president of Kenya taking the reins of a country with a spontaneous prayer meeting when he and his wife were told they had won the presidency. This week, we bid farewell to a Queen who is now with the King of Glory, and in the same instance, we rejoice over a child of God who becomes president over a nation. May we pray for those in high authority that God will rule over those who rule over the nations. And may God not only save the king, but all those who are in places of leadership.