Discuss: The Queen's Speech and the Hope of the Nations

Hi friends,

In a reflection on Queen Elizabeth II’s speech, @Cameron_McAllister invites us to consider fitting words for our present moment.

Mortality unites all of us, even those entrusted with a high degree of knowledge and authority. This has always been the case, of course, but a global crisis makes the fact unavoidable. When we read headlines of politicians and celebrities succumbing to illness, or watch footage of doctors and nurses with fearful eyes, the proper response is compassion–compassion that flows from a well of common humanity. Sometimes it takes no less a personage than a queen to remind us of this primal bond.

We can thank the Queen for a timely reminder that people are just people–that the hope of the nations is none less than King Jesus.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How are you experiencing and demonstrating compassion in this time?

  2. What can we do to point people to the hope of nations?

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As an American living in the U.K., I found the Queen (particularly in that speech) to be a surprisingly reassuring presence amidst a load of worry and uncertainty. She has seen so much I her life. (She even referenced when she and her sister Margaret made a wartime radio address to all children who’d been evacuated away from London…and their families.)

How much more a reassuring presence then can our Heavenly Father be in this time! He’s certainly seen and felt it all. May we draw strength together with each other to come near to Him as His children.

And maybe we too can taste that “quiet, good-humored resolve” that allows us not just to survive (emotionally), but draw us closer to our neighbour in love.

Stay safe out there, fam!

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This is the question I’m pondering on daily! I appreciate how the Queen’s speech, and this article stirs us to compassion without being patronising or inappropriate with our language.

For me personally, at a local level, I’m constantly asking God how I can reach my neighbours with compassion that meets them where they are at. I hear about people openly struggling with anxiety and fear, but the people around us haven’t expressed this yet. Honestly, I’d say I’m surrounded by hardy couples and families who, in normal life, demonstrate a resilience, an independence and a stoic attitude to much in life. None of them know God, so how can I point them to the hope of nations when they haven’t yet articulated they are looking for him? What gestures or language do I use that they don’t push back from?

I imagine they don’t let on with their deepest fears. My approach so far is to reach out to them in a casual sort of way (gifts of Easter biscuits and Easter cards etc) so that if ever they come to the point of being unable to ignore fear, they will feel comfortable reaching out to us. My hope is that if we’ve already offered an arm of love and consideration out to them, they will have no problem in reaching out to us in a darker moment. Im sure we will come to a time when their outer appearances of self sufficiency won’t hold and their true feelings, thoughts and fears come to the surface. My heart is ready to openly share Jesus when that time comes. Until that time, I shall share Jesus just by being present.

Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you Deuteronomy 31:6

Even when we don’t feel him, he’s present. I believe this is how i can start to demonstrate Christ as our hope in this particular situation. Where we have to maintain physical distance, I’m learning to find new ways of being emotionally present with people.

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On question #1 - I must confess it is with great difficulty that I/we are able to demonstrate compassion. Because of Lockdown all our soup kitchens had to close. As most of our beneficiaries also have to remain at home we can’t get to them neither can they get us. There are needs out there and we cannot serve them. It’s frustrating.

On question #2 - I really look forward to some ideas coming from you.
Stay blessed
Bill

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Here’s one very un-subtle pointer we have done today: made a giant cross out of deadwood and hung it on our front door :joy:. I feel like we can get away with that, it being Easter weekend. On Sunday, we’re going to decorate it all over with wild flowers to represent Christ coming to life. Our very atheist neighbour has already said she loves it :grinning:.

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