Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Understanding the monarchy!








All photos courtesy of Unsplash

The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June with the Trooping of the Colour Parade in Horse Guards Parade.  The Queen turned 95 this year, a remarkable milestone, but one tinged with sadness after the loss of her beloved husband, Prince Philip. Now, her official birthday celebrations will be scaled back this coming Saturday for the second year in a row as the coronavirus pandemic continues and mass gatherings are prohibited.

The custom of Trooping the Colour dates back to the time of Charles II when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. This impressive display of pageantry is carried out by our Queen's personal troops, the Household Division.  Over 1400 officers and men would normally be on parade, together with two hundred horses; over four hundred musicians from ten bands and a corps of drums march and play as one. It is a splendid sight of colour, sound and precision, but even in its reduced format it will be worthwhile watching,

A visitor to Britain once asked, ‘Who is the Queen, and what does she actually do?’ To the outsider, our reigning monarch can be something of a puzzle, not easily understood or appreciated!  The same can be true of Jesus – for some, it is hard to know just who He was and what He really did. The Bible gives a snapshot of His actions and His reasons.

When the Pharisees had had enough of Jesus they started to plot His death, so Jesus strategically went on somewhere else, where He was followed by those wanting more of His power, more of His healing. They were keen to see what He was doing and hear what He was saying – the breaking of stereotypical religious practices, the healing of the sick, the reaching out to the less fortunate.  What a dramatic interpretation of someone who is loved and chosen by God, someone who is both gentle and authoritative, someone whose name is the hope of the nations of the world!

In our world as soon as one corrupt leader in some nation is overthrown, international media will focus attention on another nation with different issues but similar violence, injustice and exploitation. History proves that "absolute power corrupts absolutely’ The weak and powerless, women and children, the innocent and voiceless suffer most. 

Jesus proclaimed that His power and authority are contrary to human ideas. Even though He is the Messiah, He did not want the common messianic expectations to be placed on Him.  He ordered the crowds not to make Him known. His mission would be vastly different from that of a popular deliverer. Meekness, gentleness and God’s redemptive love would characterise His all-encompassing ministry.  He would not be a big noise, but would demonstrate the ‘quiet, strong serenity of One who seeks to conquer by love’. 

His healing and deliverance ministry showed that He did not see any person as insignificant or disposable. He encouraged and painstakingly restored fragile, damaged lives. As the Lamb of God He took upon Himself on the cross the suffering that can make us whole because  He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; ....and by His stripes we are healed. 

Jesus’ attitude contrasts sharply with that of the bullying Pharisees, who were attempting to protect their power and prestige from Jesus’ rising popularity and His kingdom message. Rulers of our world trample all who threaten their power. Across the nations the cry for healing and justice is heard. The justice Jesus brings involves giving to all people what is their due. He will surely come and be victorious. In the name of Jesus there is hope for all.

Written by Peter Francis for Messages with Meaning (08/06/21) & Your542Day 

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