I don’t know about you, but when I heard the news that Queen Elizabeth II had passed, I didn’t really know how to feel. However, the more I dwelt upon it the more I realised how unsettled it made me: literally the Queen had been at the backdrop of my life – indeed the lives of anyone under the age of 96 (pretty much everyone alive) – as a constant, reassuring presence which I didn’t realise was a thing until it was taken away.
It’s undeniable that it’s reassuring to have someone who represents the spirit of the nation; a national emblem of all that it means to be British; an anchor to a glorious, world changing history, of which we should be proud (despite some of the more inglorious moments of its history – which all nations share in common – Great Britain accomplished a great deal, leading the way in many innovations, of which we are the beneficiaries and many reforms – not least of which, the emancipation of slavery and the development of the social care system, pulling working class people out of the abject poverty of the Victorian era); the embodiment of sovereignty as God’s representative monarch to the people; an image on earth of the heavenly reality. And this is the point: without realising it, the Queen gave us a sense of belonging and purpose beyond the here and now of daily life.
“It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.”Daniel 2:21
This lead me to consider that we have a Sovereign who is the reality of the image which the Queen temporarily and representatively bore. The reality of this image provides for real assurance because God (the reality) is in fact Sovereign over the universe: He is also unchanging, all knowing, everywhere-present and all powerful, yet, ‘compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and truth…, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin’ (Exodus 34:6-7) and able to act fully on our behalf. After remembering these truths I felt reassured again because I know that whatever the future holds, He never changes: those who are in-Him can trust in His provision, have the comfort of real hope and the presence of His Spirit with them at all times.
So, despite how we may feel about the passing of our earthly Queen (perhaps the greatest this earth has known), we can know that we have a Heavenly King, our true sovereign, who lives for ever, one who has: lived as a human – never failing; died as a criminal – though innocent; rose victorious from the grave – defeating death; ascending to the right-hand of the Father – ever interceding; now uniquely qualified to be seated on the throne of heaven – King forever.
The Queen may be dead, but King Jesus Lives on… This should be a comfort to us all.
“He [Jesus] who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”1 Timothy 6:15