Slideshow image

How does your faith measure up?

All of England, along with 14 Commonwealth Countries, including Canada are celebrating the 70 year reign of Queen Elizabeth II. What a celebration! She is of course, “head of State” and “Defender of the Faith” in the UK. Her official title in Canada is, “Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Canada and of Her other realms and territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.”

“By the Grace of God ... Defender of the Faith.” The title “Defender of the Faith” date back to the reign of King Henry VIII, who was created 'Defender of the Faith' in 1521 by Pope Leo X.

Following that long tradition, when Elizabeth was crowned on June 2, 1953.

What the Queen promised to her people can be summed up in the items she received that day. First, she received a Holy Bible, with the words:

Our gracious Queen:
to keep your Majesty ever mindful of the law and the Gospel of God as the Rule for the whole life and government of Christian Princes, we present you with this Book,
the most valuable thing that this world affords.
Here is Wisdom;
This is the royal Law;
These are the lively Oracles of God.

The Archbishop of Canterbury continues with these questions:

Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline?

To all these questions the Queen answers: “All this I promise to do.”

So the office of the Queen is steeped in promises to serve God and country by keeping the faith, by having a living relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In her daily life she prays regularly. She always attends church. She knows her scripture, and has memorized it.

In 1952, her Christmas message to the entire world ended with these words, “but 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 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.”

As much as is humanly possible, Queen Elizabeth has lived up to all the promises and has been a faithful servant of Christ. Perhaps on this special anniversary, (70 years is a long time), we all should give thanks to God for our Queen; and ask God to strengthen us to remember and to follow the promises we have made to Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.

It's something worth considering.