I just finished watching the Queen’s funeral at some three and a quarter hours in length. It had been heralded as one of the grandest events of our time, with thousands to be in attendance (including hundreds of heads of state and government), thousands more military personnel, millions of onlookers and billions watching around the world. The unprecedented actual event did not disappoint. It came off as the Queen had wished.
From her death at Balmoral Castle to lying in state at Westminster Hall, her coffin was then carried to Westminster Abbey, a centre-point in English civilization. The service, despite the historic and contemporary Anglican peculiarities, was one that was God focused and Scripture laden. The Arch-bishop of Canterbury’s rather short homily, apart from comments about certain royals’ salvation, was in fact faithful and Gospel centred. He reminded people of the who and not what of Christianity and encouraged others to follow the faith in Jesus that enabled the Queen’s humble service. Nearer the close of the service a rousing version of Love Divine by Charles Wesley, complete with trumpets, stirred people’s souls. Though majoring on liturgy and minoring on explanation, the service, by and large, provided enough to point people to Christ. Following this, and led by our own RCMP “Mounties,” was the mile and a quarter procession to the Arch of Wellington where the Queen’s coffin was transferred to the Royal Hearse, in which she will travel to Windsor Castle.
As far as dignified earthly events can come, this was the epitome of decorum and ceremony.
As I watched, with a few tears in my own eye, I could not help but think, not of departure, but the glorious coming of our Lord. Titus chapter two and verse thirteen says:
waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,
The Bible describes this event in even more glorious terms than the pageantry seen at the Queen’s funeral. With suddenness (1 Thes 5:2), brightness (Mt 24:27), and trumpet sound (1 Thes 4:16), Jesus will come again in triumphant glory (Heb 9:28), on the clouds of majesty (Rev 1:7), accompanied by His angels (1 Thes 1:7) and His saints (1 Thes 3:13).
What tears of joy this will cause His saints. What tears of terror will this cause amongst doomed sinners.
Her Majesty’s funeral was but a glimpse of the glory that we will see that Day. May we be ready through faith in Jesus to welcome Him on it:
Come Almighty to deliver
Let us all Thy grace receive
Suddenly return and never
Never more Thy temples leave
Thee we would be always blessing
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing
Glory in Thy perfect love
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