The Queen has never hidden her strong Christian faith. In celebration of her 90th birthday, Mark Greene presents ten significant quotes from her famous speeches.
The Queen doesn’t reveal what she thinks about a whole host of subjects, but about her trust in Christ she has been open, clear and direct. Here are ten quotes that show something of the Queen’s relationship with Christ and how that strengthens her and shapes the way she lives and works.
1. Putting her service in the hands of God
‘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. But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share it.’ (21st birthday radio address, 1947)
2. The only way to live her life
‘I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God!’ (2002)
3. Why Jesus is unique
‘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.’ (2011)
4. What sustains her in difficult times
‘To many of us our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.’ (2000)
5. How Christ is the inspiration in her life
‘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.’ (2014)
6. God’s gift of reconciliation
‘The gift I would most value next year is that reconciliation should be found wherever it is needed. A reconciliation which would bring peace and security to families and neighbours at present suffering and torn apart. Remember that good spreads outwards and every little does help. Mighty things from small beginnings grow as indeed they grew from the small child of Bethlehem.’ (1976)
7. Jesus gives us strength to follow him
‘Christ not only revealed to us the truth in his teachings. He lived by what he believed and gave us the strength to try to do the same – and, finally, on the cross, he showed the supreme example of physical and moral courage.’ (1981)
8. How God restored love to our lives through Jesus
‘This is the time of year when we remember that God sent his only son ‘to serve, not to be served’. He restored love and service to the centre of our lives in the person of Jesus Christ.’ (2012)
9. The challenge of Christian discipleship
‘In difficult times we may be tempted to find excuses for self-indulgence and to wash our hands of responsibility. Christmas stands for the opposite… we need to go out and look for opportunities to help those less fortunate than ourselves, even if that service demands sacrifice.’ (1980)
10. Why no one is beyond God’s love
‘For Christians, as for all people of faith, reflection, meditation and prayer help us to renew ourselves in God’s love, as we strive daily to become better people. The Christmas message shows us that this love is for everyone. There is no one beyond its reach.’ (2013)
Mark Greene is co-author of The Servant Queen and the King she serves, and Executive Director of LICC
The Servant Queen and the King she serves is produced by HOPE, Bible Society and LICC, and has sold over 950,000 copies. It is available from http://www.cpo.org.uk for £1 per copy plus P&P when bought in packs of 10.