“Receive this Orb, set under the Cross, and remember that the whole world is subject to the Power and Empire of Christ our Redeemer.”
With these words, the golden Orb, one of the most valuable pieces of the Regalia, was presented to Elizabeth, from the Altar of God. Outside, in the Coronation Coach, a special bracket had been fixed that she might carry it all the way from the Abbey to Buckingham Palace, in full view of all the crowds that had filled every inch of space along the route.
This Monarchy is an unusual thing. The Queen must summon Parliament, but the notes she reads are not her own and must be read word for word.
Money and passports and stamps are issued in her name; ambassadors conduct their transactions on behalf of Her Majesty, but Parliament tells them how to proceed. If ever a Monarch were condemned to death, he or she would have to sign his own death warrant.
Certainly, Elizabeth did not receive the Orb as did many of her predecessors, not with that kind of power, nor that kind of danger. The world has turned over. People are vested with personal responsibility for self-government . . . and in many places, government is subject to the people. Yet in a mysterious way, Kings and Queens of today remind us that when God begins to bless a nation and chooses to lift a leader into prominence, royal or spiritual . . . royal and spiritual! . . . He knows where they live; He remembers what He has begun.
Shall we consider today – oh, may it please God that we should consider well! – what alterations might we have to make if we were to become responsible “under God?” If it were our duty to lead a nation, if it were our responsibility to shepherd a people, were we David’s rightful heirs or sons of the Levites . . . or Windsor children in line for the throne . . . what advice would we give ourselves?
Would we be sure we knew and understood the eternal Word of God? How would we make sure? Would we be certain our guidance came from God and that our minds were “stayed” on Him? How would we be certain it were so? Would we lead and reign in peace and determine that our exalted position would make and not break us? How would we proceed?
It would be hard to miss the point; we do reign, all of us, over something. Some reign over a home, some over a classroom, over an office, over our own children. At the very least, we reign over our souls, or we are meant so to do.
Oh, that we would take as much care over these “everyday monarchies” as Elizabeth was sworn to take over her peoples, that we might safeguard and prosper their souls and ours, wherever we have been given dominion. It does appear that we will be judged according to our care, or the lack thereof. (Matt. 24:45-51)
Receiving the Orb