This year some of our congregation are celebrating some big birthdays. These birthdays, usually ending in 0, are milestones in our lives that we mark and remember. In this year two members of my family reach their milestones- my eldest son Jacob will be 18 (I know I don’t look old enough to have an adult son!!) and my husband will be 10 years older than 40!! We will celebrate these birthdays as we thank God for the passing of years and for leading us this far as a family.
As a country we are also celebrating a milestone in our Queen’s life as she has become our longest reigning British monarch, at 90 years of age.
Did you know that the Queen still works over 40 hours a week? She has been patron of over 600 charities and organisations, given royal assent to more than 3500 Acts of Parliament and awarded more than 412,000 honours! She has been advisor and confidante to twelve different prime ministers, has made 97 state visits all over the world, received heads of state and royalty from all over the world and also visited many ordinary places such as businesses, care homes, schools and hospitals. She has owned more than 30 corgis and she feeds them herself every day.
Why does she do all this? When she became Queen in April 1947 she said, ‘I declare before you that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.’ She has been true to her word. And how has she been able to do this for such a long time? The Queen is the head of the Church of England and she attends church every Sunday. She has a deep and personal Christian faith which sustains her and motivates her. She gives testimony to this every year in her annual Christmas broadcast.
This month we will be celebrating the Queen’s special birthday in several ways- and I hope you will be able to join in with some of them ….
Let’s pray for the Queen and thank God for her and the service she has shown us in this country. Let’s tell others about her faith and use that as a way to share our own faith stories with our friends and neighbours. It would be an amazing tribute to her and the God she serves, if we could all follow her fantastic example and share this testimony:
‘I know just how much I rely on my 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 and 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.’