Bible Society New Zealand takes the opportunity to join with members of the United Bible Societies in offering condolences and tributes upon learning of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Throughout the seven decades of her reign Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II saw much change in society and the world, and faced many trials and triumphs, both public and private. Throughout it all at the heart of her reign was her personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who was her rock and her anchor.
Her Christian faith, aligned with her sense of duty and service made her an inspiration to many in Great Britain, the Commonwealth, and around the world. Queen Elizabeth II often used her Christmas addresses to highlight the pivotal role that Christianity played in her life. In her 1952 Christmas and Easter address, referring to her upcoming coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, she said:
“I want to ask you all, whatever your religion may be, to pray for me on that day – to pray that God may give me the wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life.”
On the day of her coronation, she added:
“I am sure that this, my coronation, is not the symbol of a power and splendour that are gone but a declaration our hopes for the future, and the years I may, by God’s grace and mercy, be given to reign and serve you as your Queen.”
In her 2014 Christmas address Queen Elizabeth II said:
“Billions of people now follow Christ’s teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe. “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace… is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he stretched out his hands in love, acceptance, and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people, of whatever faith or none.”
“The faith of Her Majesty the Queen is the diamond in the crown: forged under extreme pressure, a “beacon of inspiration” the world over, reflecting the light of the Lord she serves.” Right Reverend Dr. Jill Duff, bishop of Lancaster. “She is simply an exceptional Christian, which in turn makes her an exceptional sovereign.”
These things shaped her duty and desire and commitment and conviction aligning her behaviour and beliefs to her authentic Christian faith that has inspired so many in following Jesus example.
The Queen is dead, long live the King!
*This tribute includes references from the book, ‘The Faith of Queen Elizabeth. The poise, grace and quiet strength behind the Crown’, written by Dudley Delffs and published in 2019.