I am guessing many of you got up early to be amongst the millions who watched the funeral of Queen Elizabeth. As I watched the service, I paraphrased Psalms 21 https://www.biblestudytools.com/psalms/21.html to express my feelings toward this extraordinary and beloved woman who reigned for 70 years. I used the verses 7 and 13. “For the Queen trusts in the Lord with her unfailing love of the Most High. She will not be shaken. Be exalted in your strength Queen Elizabeth. We will sing and praise a life lived well”
I wanted to write about sacrificial service this week. Her majesty’s funeral service brought what I wanted to share into focus. True service is forgetting about yourself and looking for ways to help those around you. Giving up your time and your God given resources to make a difference in someone else’s life. I found this great essay https://bit.ly/tolivewemustfirstdie written about a favorite book, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. In it Bill Onisick writes, “This we must first die perspective changes our attitude and our actions. Jesus says in Matthew 10:39, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Commentator Albert Barnes explains: “The word “life” in this passage is used evidently in two senses. The meaning may be expressed thus: He that is anxious to save his “temporal” life, or his comfort and security here, shall lose “eternal” life. . . . He that is willing to risk or lose his comfort and “life” here for my sake, shall find “life” everlasting, or shall be saved.”
Her funeral service, which she had planned years before, showed that Queen Elizabeth’s life was an example of a life lived this way. Even though she was born into the monarchy with everyone serving her, her first priority was to serve God. She most certainly had the comfort and security this “temporal’ life but from birth, her life was not her own. She would never be free to live the life she may have wanted. In his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded us that, on her 21st birthday broadcast , she famously declared that “her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth.” He went on to say that Jesus exhorted “I am the way, the truth and the life, follow me.” Her late Majesty’s example was not set through her position or her ambition, but through whom she followed.”
What if we all committed to do the same? When we follow Jesus, we too, become heirs to the eternal throne. Romans 8:17 explains it this way. “And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we serve/suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Much like Queen Elizabeth, we have to let go of our personal desires so that we can live the life God intended for us. When we realize that there is something for us bigger than we can ever imagine, we will find ourselves humbled that we are children of God. As His children, Our whole lives must be dedicated to serving as the Psalmist writes, the Most High. Only then, can we understand who we are and what is our true purpose.
I will end this post with how the Archbishop ended his sermon. “We will all face the merciful judgment of God: we can all share the Queen’s hope which in life and death inspired her servant leadership. Service in life, hope in death. All who follow the Queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: ‘We will meet again.’” Here is the full text https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2022/09/19/archbishop-of-canterburys-sermon-for-the-state-funeral-of-queen-elizabeth-ii/
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