Learning about The Servant King from the servant Queen

Posted by Catherine Butcher on 21 April 2016

This year the Commonwealth is celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday. Royalists and even some anti-monarchists recognise that the Queen’s life of service has been exemplary.

The Servant Queen and the King She Serves, published by HOPE, Bible Society and LICC as a tribute to the Queen on her 90th birthday, poses the question: ‘What’s the secret of the Queen’s remarkable consistency of character and extraordinary contribution to nation, Commonwealth and the global community?’

The Queen’s own words give the answer: ‘I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.’

We were honoured that the Queen agreed to write the foreword to our book and thrilled that it has caught the imagination of Christians around the UK. A second print run of 100,000 was ordered within a fortnight of the book going on sale, as churches have ordered in bulk to give copies away. One church leader told us: ‘The Queen’s birthday books have been delivered…  They are absolutely wonderful and more than once moved me to tears … they contain a wonderful, very simple, memorable message.’

While some say the UK is hurtling towards humanism, the royal regalia and symbols of monarchy proclaim in diamonds and gold that Jesus Christ is supreme over all the earth. The Christian words and rituals of the coronation service, devised in AD 973 with the focal point on the anointing, speak to me of heaven with its ‘great multitude … from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne (Revelation 7:9). I wanted to write this book to show how one remarkable woman relies on God and recognises that, like all Christians, she needs to be anointed by God.

Describing the coronation, royal biographer William Shawcross said, ‘It was the moment when the holy oil was applied to her, rather than the crowning… that was of supreme importance for the Queen.’ At that point her royal robes and symbols of status were removed. As she gave herself in service to her people, she was anointed with God’s power for the task, following in the footsteps of Christ, our servant King.

As we demonstrate in our book, the Queen’s sense of duty drives her, and her Christian faith sustains her. Hence the book title: The Servant Queen and the King She Serves which uses the Queen’s own words to show the central role of her trust in Jesus.

We hope that this tribute to Her Majesty on her 90th birthday will be a conversation starter for Christians longing for Britain to turn to Christ.

Catherine Butcher is HOPE’s Communications Director, author of several books and co-author with Mark Greene of The Servant King and the King She Serves, published by HOPE, Bible Society and LICC as a tribute to the Queen on her 90th birthday – available in packs of 10 for £10 (plus p&p) from www.hopetogether.org.uk/thequeen

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