Non-Britons may be more familiar with the King’s Speech – the story of how an unorthodox doctor helped Colin Firth to overcome a speech impediment, but for many of the people of these islands, one of the fixed points of a British Christmas is the Queen’s Speech.
I have to confess that we missed it in our house, but there have been opportunities to catch up – including the fact that a version has been released for free download to Kindle!
This year Her Majesty combined themes of family, community and times of adversity which, she said, can sometimes being people together.
In the final part of her speech, she spoke openly and sincerely about her Christian faith.
Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: ‘Fear not’, they urged, ‘we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
‘For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.’
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.
Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.
She then went on to quote from O Little town of Bethlehem, before concluding by saying that her prayer is that “we might all fine room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.”