For sure, I am no royalist. I grew up and lived for 25 years in a SIT housing area called Princess Elizabeth Estate, and I had my primary education at Princess Elizabeth Estate School. I loved those years and the wonderful experiences of growing up, adventure, spaciousness, and friendship, and in the last six years, of revival and prayer. The name of the estate made me curious but I felt no affection nor gratitude to the crown.
Queen Elizabeth visited Singapore a few times but it never got me excited. It was more like, “Oh, so she is here for a visit. What for huh?” She is just a dignitary, like the President of a country, visiting Singapore. She has her duties to the UK and their former colonies, including Singapore. Even her position as head of the church seems to be a formality conferred by virtue that she wore the crown. I must admit I doubted that her faith was genuine. I had this vague perception that hers was a nominal faith, an acted role expected of the queen, not a real lived out faith. I must sincerely apologise to the Queen in future when I meet her personally in heaven, for misjudging her faith. My view has now been totally overturned.
A genuine faith in Christ
Her recent death has however put out a lot of information about the genuineness of her personal faith in Christ and I must say I am so impressed that despite all the restraints of diplomacy in a multi-faith world, she had managed to share her faith in such a winsome, sensitive and brave way. Her witness was low-key but high-powered. She was no tele-evangelist though billions watched her funeral and heard about how her life was shaped by the gospel. She conducted no evangelistic rallies nor healed the sick in stadiums. Nor did she preach an evangelistic message in the church, but her life of faithfulness, godliness and dignity communicated more about the faith that her words. Even her brief speeches every Christmas, which she personally wrote, revealed and displayed her personal faith in Christ openly. She is an inspiration to all followers of Christ to be brave and wise in their witness wherever they are, both by their quiet, kind ways and by a wise, winsome sharing of their faith.
Some extracts from her speeches
“For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness. He stretched out His hands in love, acceptance, and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect all people of whatever faith or none.”
During the pandemic, in her Christmas broadcast: “We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and draw comfort that even on the darkest nights there is hope in the new dawn. Jesus touched on this with the parable of the Good Samaritan. The man who is robbed and left at the roadside is saved by someone who did not share his religion or culture. This wonderful story of kindness is still as relevant today. Good Samaritans have emerged across society showing care and respect for all, regardless of gender, race or background, reminding us that each one of us is special and equal in the eyes of God.”
A month before her death she sent a message to Lambeth Conference, an assembly of all the bishops of the Anglican communion that was held every ten years to discuss issues facing the communion. She said, “Throughout my life, the message and teaching of Christ have been my guide and in them I find hope.”
I wish Singapore political leaders who are Christians can learn from her and disclose their personal faith without offending those of other faiths or no faith. Just do it the way the Queen did.
Lord, we thank you for the exemplary life of Queen Elizabeth. May her example inspire me and all Christians to be more effective witnesses of Christ in the marketplace. Amen.