I know that a lot of our friends and family who read this site are outside of the UK, so I thought I’d share something truly regal with you. Every Christmas the Queen makes a televised speech that many will tune into and hear in their post-Turkey-dinner state of bloating. Last year she made some fairly overt statements about the King James Version of the Bible as we entered the four-hundredth anniversary. This year she excelled anything I’ve heard before. Check this out, the final couple of minutes of her speech:
“For many, this Christmas will not be easy. With our armed forces deployed around the world, thousands of service families face Christmas without their loved ones at home.
The bereaved and the lonely will find it especially hard. And, as we all know, the world is going through difficult times. All this will affect our celebration of this great Christian festival.
Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: ‘Fear not’, they urged, ‘we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
‘For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.’
Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed.
God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.
Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.
In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there’s a prayer:
O Holy Child of Bethlehem, Descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin, And enter in.
Be born in us today.
It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”
Whatever your nationality, or view of a British monarchy, let’s pray for her to influence many in a very secular society and world with this increasingly rarely seen overt Christian message!