My wife’s mother, a fine Christian woman, loved Queen Elizabeth II. When my wife learned of the Queen’s death, she imagined her arriving in heaven and said, “My mom will be first in line to greet her.”
I love this idea of the Queen being met first in heaven not by a long line of other queens, kings, and world dignitaries, but by a commoner, some ordinary person who deeply loved her. And not just any ordinary person but a fellow Christian. For Queen Elizabeth was a Christian, a godly woman, and a godly world leader—and how many of those are there?
Try to think of another godly world leader. Does even one name come to mind? Partly this is due to the fact that the Queen was above politics, not allowed to take part in the political fray or even to comment publicly. The new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, is no royalist, yet the Queen received her graciously and bestowed her blessing.
This quality of being a great world leader yet above politics—does it remind you of anyone else? Another royal figure?
It reminds me of Jesus Christ, the man who, when asked about political allegiance, stood apart from party partisanship and replied, “Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s, and unto God what is God’s” (Mark 12:17). This man rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, not to assume His throne and be crowned as King, but to die for the sins of the world.
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth there is much speculation about the future of the monarchy. Many are opposed to this expensive, possibly frivilous and out-dated institution, and would like to see it dismantled. (Nevermind that the US government is essentially monarchic, while the government of the UK is essentially republican.)
But I wonder: Who now, among world leaders, is able to assume the mantle of godliness? Isn’t it common knowledge that modern politics has fallen far below any possibility of admitting godly leadership? To advance to high office in our culture is normally to leave purity and holiness behind and to compromise with corruption.
So the passing of this Queen leaves a vacancy. She leaves a hole in our hearts. Not that she was perfect, and certainly her family has been less than admirable. Even so, is there not something in us that needs royalty—that needs such an example of simple decency and dignity which rises above political strife and depravity and stands for power with humility?
I’m not claiming monarchy as necessarily the best form of government. Goodness knows, Europe suffered horrendously under it for centuries. But I do see a place for someone who in worldly terms can mirror this fundamental spiritual truth: We need a King. We need figureheads who can command our admiration, fealty, loyalty, and love. We are built for monarchy—the Bible is a royalist document—and we long for the time when our true King, the King of Heaven, will finally be crowned on Earth with more than thorns.
When foreign kings came to kneel at the cradle in Bethlehem, they represented the time when every knee will bow before Him, and when “the kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever” (Rev 11:15). Amen.
Rest in peace, Elizabeth, and thank you for your godly legacy.
(If anyone would like to learn more about the Queen’s Christian faith, read The Faith of Queen Elizabeth by Dudley Delffs, or else the shorter booklet The Servant Queen And The King She Serves, published on the occasion of her 90th birthday.)
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