God has saved her and she has lived long. The first two invocations of the National Anthem have been and are still being fulfilled. Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday is a cause of national celebration and personal joy. It is also a time for reflection and gratitude. Never in the history of British Monarchy has one reigned so old or so long. Nor, perhaps, has one seen so much social change and sweeping transition, at least in the absence of war and glorious revolution. And rarely has one been so devoted to Christ in the service of peace and reconciliation.
We’ll heartily sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and loyally toast Her Majesty’s health, but it doesn’t feel as though our Queen is 90: she is just there, the Mother of the Nation, dutifully serving her peoples as she promised to do on her 21st birthday in 1947: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong,” she vowed. That life has indeed been long, and the devotion to service immaculate, for which she thanks God and acknowledges the prayers of her subjects: “I have been – and remain – very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for His steadfast love. I have indeed seen His faithfulness.”
For 64 of her 90 years she has been defending the Faith, as all British monarchs have since 1521 – some better than others. “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,” she said in her 2011 Christmas broadcast. “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,” she drove home, preaching the uniqueness of Christ like so many of our church leaders no longer seem to do. She acknowledges Jesus, worships Jesus, serves Jesus, and defends the Faith by depending on Jesus. She is devoted to the service of people because she is devoted first and foremost to Christ. Her 2015 Christmas broadcast bore testimony to that dependence:
“For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, 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 Prince of Peace is an anchor; Christ’s example has taught… ‘The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened’ (Prov 10:27). Would that this were always so. But God’s wisdom is not ours: His ways are higher. In an age which seeks to over-analyse and reduce everything to atomistic sequences and selfish motives, thank God that we have a Head of State and Supreme Governor whose disposition is to consider the affairs and attitudes of man, and to disclose the virtues and beatitudes of Jesus. She is, in totality, an incarnate Christian mission who radiates dews of peace and the wonder, love and fragrance of Christ. Happy Birthday, Ma’am. God Save The Queen.