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The Word on the Week

Diamond Jubilee

Few can resist telling the story of their brush with monarchy. It might have only a glimpse of the monarch passing in a car but there seems to be some innate attraction to the institution which is the secret envy of republicans and a source of quiet pride in her subjects!

My own engagement with Her Majesty was more of a near miss! Some of us had been climbing on Lochnagar, a mountain on the Queen’s Balmoral Estate in Scotland, and were returning to the car park at the head of Loch Muick. I cannot remember how we got separated but the others went down the wrong track and arrived at Glas-allt Shiel, a royal hunting lodge, where the Queen and her party were having tea on the lawn. They were invited to join in which they gladly accepted! A case of the right road being the wrong one for the rest of us!

There will be a right British knees up over the next 4 days during which the Queen at age 86 and Prince Philip age 90 will probably wish they were at Glas-allt Shiel at the head of Loch Muick! However, with the stamina they always display, they will do their stuff in a right royal way.

Of course, over the years, the power has been drained from the monarchy. The Queen is largely a figurehead, subject to her parliament and regularly threatened with cuts to her income that would confine her to Buckingham Palace. However there is a subtle power which is unique. It appears in places like the honours lists as many clamber for a piece of the fame which creates its own attraction of a hierarchy coveted by the ambitious.

There is also something untouchable in the royal line. If you are not born into it you are not a candidate! There is nothing you can do about it. The heir to the throne is not elected, bought or earned. It is a birthright.

“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” The Magi’s question, recorded in Matthew chapter 2 verse 2 left King Herod in no doubt but that a new royal line had been formed. His reaction to Jesus Christ’s arrival on earth was in complete contrast to the Magi. Herod saw Him as a threat and wanted to do away with Him. The Magi believed He was the Messiah and wanted to worship Him.

The world is still in these two camps today. Do you want to get rid of Him or do you want to praise Him as your (new) birthright? There is no middle ground.

The hymnwriter catches a glimpse of King Jesus: –

“You seed of Israel’s chosen race,

You ransomed from the fall.

Hail Him who saves you by His grace,

And crown Him Lord of all.”