This post is part of the ON THE WAY sermon series at St Mark’s Anglican Church, Casino July/October 2022
During these 13 weeks that I am here as your locum priest, we have been intentionally walking with Jesus on the way from Galilee to Jerusalem.
Jesus was literally walking the way, but his heart and soul were also “on track,” as we might say.
The feet cannot walk where the heart will not go.
In the Gospel for today we heard two of the great parables of Jesus: the lost sheep and the lost coin.
We are reminded of the joy in heaven when one lost child of God turns around and says YES to God’s offer of life.
When we choose to walk the way of Jesus, when we choose to embrace God’s call on our life, there is rejoicing at the heart of the cosmos.
This week there has been rejoicing of a more sombre kind, as we heard of the Queen’s death and then as we proclaimed Charles as our new King.
Some 70 years ago, the life of a young woman changed for ever.
In the grief of her own father’s death, she became our Queen as she said YES to God’s call on her life.
What a calling!
And what a pathway of faithfulness and service to others ever since.
Elizabeth walked the way that God’s wisdom mapped out for her.
She was a woman of deep faith.
In many ways, Elizabeth was the quintessential Anglican.
Her faith was personal, but also social rather than private.
Her faith was centred on the wisdom of Jesus.
She valued tradition and symbolism, but was open to the modern world.
Her faith appreciated the national mission of the church, regardless of people’s own religion.
Like the first Elizabeth, Elizabeth II was a true guardian of the Church of England.
She spoke of her faith from time to time, including these words from her Christmas Message in 2000:
To many of us our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example. (2000)
Elizabeth said YES to God’s call on her life.
She remained true to that call until the very end, as we have all seen these past few days.
What a remarkable act of faith.
We honour her legacy best when we say YES to God’s call on our own lives.
We give thanks to God for her faith and her service.
We pray for God’s blessing on Charles as he succeeds his mother as our Sovereign.
And we pray for the grace to walk the way of Jesus ourselves, with Jesus, and with each other.
We are all in this together.