On the passing of our Queen—Her Majesty Elizabeth II
I didn’t think that a funeral for a monarch would hold my attention so profoundly as the service 4 billion souls were able to witness today on the passing of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It surprized me that I would be so moved—yet I was. Every movement, every reading, every action was carefully planned—to testify that she embodied her nation, her commonwealth, and, most importantly, her faith.
She believed in all that is filled with hope; when all was dark and gloomy, she never surrendered to the shadow, but shone the light of hope for us to understand that all would be well. (She learned this from her mother, Elizabeth, the Queen Mother—who walked the streets of London during the bombings of the Battle of Britain to stand with her people—and for that she was dearly loved). Queen Elizabeth II, (daughter of King George VI and Elizabeth) continued to serve, even after the death of her husband and Prince consort, Philip. She served the nation up until two days before she died and surrendered her life to the God she served all her days, for as long as most of us can remember.
Two thoughts filled my heart as I listened and watched. The first was the rightness of the Scripture quoted at her final service:
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its place acknowledges it no more.
Yet the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting
To everlasting on those who fear Him,
And his righteousness to children’s children.
Psalm 103:15-17 NASB
She knew her God was/is steadfast—and she walked with Him.
The second thought was that the hymn chosen at her final service (All My Hope on God is Founded) spoke of how the power of empire regularly got in the way of serving God—yet God was Supreme.
That service brought to mind an old Anglican hymn used at evensong, to close out the day. It spoke of endings and beginnings:
The day Thou gavest Lord is ended. The Darkness falls at Thy behest.
To Thee our morning prayers ascended; Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.
The reason this old hymn came to mind is that it was written for Empire Day by a monarchist way back in 1870. That writer, John Ellerton, understood that kings, and queens (in his case Queen Victoria) and their rule does end—and God’s rule never does. The words to the last verse summarize how Elizabeth II oversaw the end of the British Empire (and its grasping at power) and the rise of the English Commonwealth (with its calling to help each other grow), and so became the adored Sovereign over much of the planet. Here are the words written in the days of Victoria, with its testament to the wise leadership of Elizabeth II:
So be it Lord! Thy throne shall never, like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands and grows forever, ‘til all Thy creatures own Thy sway.
Victoria in her day, and Elizabeth in ours, both understood that God’s kingdom was the most important one. We would do well to learn from them.
God save the King—his highness King Charles III.
© David Chotka 2022