Monday, May 14, 2012

May 14 – "I Am Willing"

          The coronation regalia had preceded Elizabeth into the sanctuary and had been placed upon the altar.  We will see what those pieces represent to her and to us, but before that, her Majesty was confronted with the oaths of her high position.

          “Madam, is Your Majesty willing to take the oath?” asked Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury, wearing a cope almost as elaborate as Elizabeth’s gown.  It was a gift from the Bishop of Kobe, a gesture of Christian reconciliation following the horrors of the last war.

          “I am willing,” answered Elizabeth, and she gave her promises to the vows of fidelity to the state, the people, and the Church, promising to tender justice with mercy, to respect the laws and customs of her people, and to maintain and preserve the Church of England and its clergy.

          Now the choir voices rose again, singing, “Behold, O God our Defender; and look upon the face of thine Anointed; for one day in thy courts is better than a thousand.”

          We did not know . . . we were not aware.  This service was much more than a show of royal splendor.  If ever there has been an earthly display of all that is inherently ours in Christ, this could be it.  We are they who defend the lost and the sinful and the hopeless before God, and He delights that we should do so.  He does not need or at all require that we should champion Him, but that we should so love His Gospel, His Kingdom, and His Son that we would be given to His people everywhere.  This was Elizabeth’s moment, a royal laying-down of her life for the sake of a kingdom.  We have much to learn from all that happened next.

French Sword of State
Siren-Com, by permission

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