“God Save Our Queen!”: Britain’s Christian Heritage Endures
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations were a reminder that the Christian heritage of Britain remains.
For a start, an estimated 10,000 street parties took place, nurturing a sense of community and combating individualism. Community and unity are both strong biblical values as they encourage love for one another and relationships to develop. The bible is replete with community festivals and feasts including the Passover, the Firstfruits, the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Booths and more. Jesus was often shown to be eating together with others, even the outcasts (Mark 2:16).
Despite differences in beliefs or social standing, as the Archbishop of Canterbury said in his sermon on Tuesday, ‘there is something transforming and exhilarating about the prospect of a whole community rejoicing together – being glad of each other’s happiness and safety.'
The sea of British flags waving at Her Majesty the Queen in celebration could be likened to the waving of palm branches when Jesus, the ultimate King, entered Jerusalem on a donkey (Zech 9:9). Despite the vastly different circumstances, there is still a similarity: The palm branches waved symbolized goodness and victory, just as the British flags did – As the anthem goes, 'God save our gracious Queen … send her victorious … ’
The fact that there was a Thanksgiving service necessitates the presence of faith. As as J.John remarked, ‘to give thanks is to declare a faith in a living God who can hear our praise and receive our gratitude.' (J.John's Blog).
In the service David Cameron read from Romans 12, speaking powerful words over the nation: We are asked to ‘offer’ ourselves to God, not to be conformed to the pattern of this world but to be 'transformed,' to serve with humility, to be ‘faithful in prayer,’ and to ‘overcome evil with good’ (Romans 12).
Regardless of race, gender, political beliefs or social status, we are united under the Queen. As Christians, we can rejoice that biblical values underpin our Monarch's reign.