Faith's Firm Foundation
“Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone.
It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on.
Whoever believes need never be shaken.”
On the evening of December 11 1936, after ruling for less than a year, Edward VIII, gave a radio address in which he announced his voluntary abdication of the throne. On December 12, his younger brother, the Duke of York was proclaimed King George VI.
Watching on with quiet contemplation, was 10-year-old ‘Lilibet’, as she was known within the family. I wonder, did she have any idea of the magnitude of what had just passed? I wonder in those moments, what her quiet thoughts were, unaware that in just 15 years’ time, she herself would take the oath, and be crowned Queen.
Queen Elizabeth II grew up with the Christian faith as an integral part of her upbringing. As a family they attended weekly church services, read their Bibles, and said bedtime prayers. The Queen Mother instilled in them a great love for scripture, teaching them to memorise favourite passages, often from the Psalms. Surely it was these early footings, that anchored her, laying those firm foundations of her faith in Jesus, steadying her for the momentous task ahead, that has to date amounted to an amazing 70 years of selfless service, rule and reign.
‘Pray for me…that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life.’
This was the humble prayer request made by Queen Elizabeth II in her first ever Christmas broadcast to the Commonwealth in 1952. Her Christmas broadcasts are among the few speeches that she writes herself. I both respect and admire how she never shies away from this opportunity to share her personal faith, and she always seeks to bring the hope that Jesus’s birth brings, to the heart and centre of her message. In her broadcast of December 2000, she states:
‘For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life.’
Clearly Queen Elizabeth has sought to build both her personal, and professional life on the firm rock and refuge that she knows is higher than her. (Psalm 61:1-2)
So, what does Jesus say we are to build our lives on? In a world that is ever changing, where nothing it seems is certain, where do we find our sure foundation?
“It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” (Luke 6:48-49)
Jesus Christ is the rock upon which we must build the foundations of our lives. In the Psalms David continually declares The Lord as His rock. Isaiah 28:16 declares Jesus as our “…precious cornerstone…a sure foundation” and promises us that “…the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.”
I for one, am so grateful to God, that we have had such a monarch at the head of our Government for so many years. One who seeks to build her life on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, to live by His servant hearted example, and whose heart for us in her own words is that ‘… like me, you will be comforted by the example of Jesus of Nazareth who, often in circumstances of great adversity, managed to live an outgoing, unselfish and sacrificial life…He makes it clear that genuine happiness and satisfaction lie more in giving than receiving; more in serving than in being served.’
May we be ever more firmly established and rooted in Christ making him the cornerstone of our foundations, and look to His unchanging hand to lead and guide us through every season of life.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
And I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus name
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the 'whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay
He then is all my hope and stay
Christ alone, cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Saviour's love
Through the storm
He is Lord, Lord of all