Oh Jubilee

United Kingdom, British Commonwealth commemorate Queen’s long reign 

A thousand vessels paraded up the River Thames under dark and rainy skies on the first Sunday of June. The spectacular flotilla included the Queen of England on a royally decorated barge, surrounded by family members and a thousand flowers from her own garden. Throngs of celebrants gathered along the banks of the seven-mile route through London.

A flotilla is something uncommon in this day and age. In fact it’s been around 350 years since England held such a river event. But a Diamond Jubilee calls for extraordinary measures of celebration. A 60-year reign is a rare achievement for a world leader.

The word jubilee comes from a Hebrew word meaning “ram” or “ram’s horn.” It’s a call to celebrate—with thanksgiving. It was God’s idea to observe special times.

The United Kingdom and British Commonwealth realms are commemorating their Queen’s long reign for the entire year of 2012, with official celebrations the first week of June. But much of the world wants in on the celebrations too. We’re watching the events on television and online, just like we did last year when the very royal Prince William married the commoner, Kate Middleton.

We’re captivated by crowns and carriages, silks and satins. Why is that?

While the British monarchy may be good for the UK’s national pride, it serves to represent something infinitely greater. On their coronation day, kings and queens of England are anointed with holy oil. They receive a symbolic robe of righteousness. The monarchs serve as figure-heads of God’s sovereign power.

The rest of us, commoners, stand along the roadways of life, hoping for a glimpse of grandeur. And no wonder we crave it, for we were created for a kingdom. We have a King who loves us, not as mere spectators of his majesty, but as partakers. He bids us to come into his banquet. He has even supplied the proper attire—a robe of righteousness, bought with a great price.

Our King offers to share his kingdom with whoever will come, whoever will believe in him. Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:2). He will return in the clouds—probably not dark and rainy ones—to take us there someday.

Now that’s a reason to celebrate.

This essay was adapted from a similar article by the author, published in God’s World News (June 2012).

Patti Richter

Blue Ribbon News special contributor Patti Richter works as journalist, writing news and feature stories, book reviews and more for many Christian publications. She lives in Heath with her husband Jim. 

Read more by Patti Richter:

God’s not-so-random acts of kindness

In unity on National Day of Prayer

Of Snakes & Pumpkins: even a perfect fall day is made better with prayer

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