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A very significant moment occurred at the Queen’s Committal in St George’s Chapel Windsor: the Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre were removed from the coffin before it was lowered into the vault beneath. Symbolically, at that moment the Queen was relieved of the authority and the burdens of Monarchy. She could go to be with her heavenly Father, not as Her Majesty the Queen, but simply as his dear daughter, Elizabeth.

I realised at that moment that there are no titles, no honours, no distinctions, no Lords and Ladies, no Sirs and Madams, not even Popes and Priests, in the world to come. In heaven we are all equal, beloved for who we are, not for what we have been, or not been, or done, or not done. Known by our plain names, Elizabeth Windsor, Martin Down, your name: all of us who have loved and served Jesus here on earth and are now at rest in his everlasting arms.

Yes, there is of course a king there, King Jesus. But I do not believe that Jesus goes around in his heavenly Kingdom giving himself airs and grace. Surely, he behaves there as he did here on earth: as one who is “humble and lowly in heart”. After all he said to his disciples, “I no longer call you servants. Instead, I have called you friends.” (John15.15)

Of course, there is a huge difference between Jesus and the rest of us: a difference not of degree but of kind. He is the Son of God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity: God made man. We are but men, made in the image of God: creatures of our Creator. It was entirely appropriate that at Jesus’ Ascension into heaven the disciples worshipped him. But when it had first been revealed to them that Jesus was God’s beloved Son, at the Transfiguration, and they had fallen face down to the ground, Jesus had said to them, “Get up. Don’t be afraid”, and they had walked on with him as before. We too worship Jesus, as we worship God, our Father, and the Holy Spirit, Three in One, and we shall worship him even more when we see him face to face. But somehow, as the Son of Man, he will still relate to us and walk with us, as a friend and brother, just as we will relate to God, not only in awe as our Creator, but also as our loving heavenly father. As followers of Jesus we are part of God’s Royal Family? Awesome indeed.


I have just tested positive for Covid!So next week I will reflect, not on some national news, but on this personal shock.

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