The world came to a screeching halt when Queen Elizabeth died.
Few people in history have provoked such sorrow at their passing. And her funeral is probably be the most watched event in human history thus far. I must confess I felt sad (dare I say it, I shed a few tears) when I heard she died. Even though I’ve never met her, or had any contact with her, I felt grief.
And so it got me thinking: why the massive outpouring of grief at her passing? Why has it brought our nation (and the nations of the Commonwealth) to a halt?
The Symbolism of the Crown
While the Queen had no real political power, her role was full of meaningful symbolism that impacted others, including many of us here in Australia.
American writer Andrew Sullivan offers this insight:
You can make all sorts of solid arguments against a constitutional monarchy — but the point of monarchy is precisely that it is not the fruit of an argument. It is emphatically not an Enlightenment institution. It’s a primordial institution smuggled into a democratic system. It has nothing to do with merit and logic and everything to do with authority and mystery — two deeply human needs our modern world has trouble satisfying without danger.
The Crown represents something from the ancient past, a logically indefensible but emotionally salient symbol of something called a nation, something that gives its members meaning and happiness.
Authority, mystery, meaning and happiness: these, Sullivan argues, are what the Crown provides us, Her Majesty’s subjects. And with her passing, many feel we’ve lost some of these things.
Hence the grief.
But I wonder if another thing the Crown provides is a sense of stability: a feeling that no matter how chaotic our world, there is (or was!) an adult at the helm, providing support and guidance to us as we make our way through life’s ups and downs.
The Death of the Queen and the Passing Of Stability
Now that the Queen has gone, we’ll no longer hear her calm, commanding, and reassuring tones throughout the year.
Hers was a voice that brought perspective to difficult times. Her words were a balm to tired, troubled souls desperate for strength during COVID lockdowns. And each Christmas, she helped bring meaning to an increasingly troubled world as she talked about what mattered in life: family, relationships, and for her, faith. She was like a wise matriarch, a welcome presence at family gatherings who helped de-escalate tension by her mere presence and select words.
But all that has now passed.
And our collective grief shows how much we valued her — and the semblance of stability she brought to our lives. It wasn’t the hard stability of a strong government so much as the soft stability of a soothing presence.
And this points to something about our human condition: whether a Royal fan or not, we all appreciate — we all need — a sense of stability if we’re to avoid emotional vertigo in these chaotic times.
Where should we look for stability?
Christians can thank God for institutions like the Crown that have helped provide that sense of stability.
The Queen gave us a temporary sense of comfort that soothed us in troubled times. But, in the end, we all need more than temporary comfort. Monarchs might reign for 70 years. But eventually, they pass on. Death has the final say over our mortal lives.
And as we’re left with our sorrow, many will ask: where can we look for stability?
For some, the answer will be the things around them: family, work, sport — their day-to-day routines. For others who have struggled in these challenging times, their answer might be Netflix or the bottom of a bottle. And, of course, many will look to the new King — King Charles III — to resurrect that sense of stability given by Elizabeth II.
But again, all these solutions to our need for stability are, well, temporary.
The Royal Who Provides Real Stability
And yet, for those with eyes to see, there is a King that provides the stability we all crave.
As Queen Elizabeth herself testified in one of her Christmas messages:
Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves — from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person — neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.’
The Saviour, the King she’s referring to, is, of course, Jesus.
The one who came into our world not adorned with purple robes and a royal entourage, but in a filthy manger, with lowly shepherds paying their respects. The one who lived not in palaces but in the dusty countryside of Judea. And the one who came not to live extravagantly but to die an ignoble death on a Roman Cross, for us, His enemies.
This King came so that we could join His Kingdom, indeed His own Royal family.
And it’s a Kingdom that nothing in this world can destroy: Not natural disaster. Not war. Not economic calamity. Not even death. That’s the Kingdom we’re invited to join.
That’s the King we’re commanded to worship.
Queen Elizabeth brought stability, but death took her from us. King Jesus came and died. But He returned to life. And brings stability — both now and for eternity — to all who look to Him as Saviour and King.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.
We need your help. The continued existence of the Daily Declaration depends on the generosity of readers like you. Donate now. The Daily Declaration is committed to keeping our site free of advertising so we can stay independent and continue to stand for the truth.
Fake news and big-tech censorship make the work of the Canberra Declaration and our Christian news site the Daily Declaration more important than ever. Take a stand for family, faith, freedom, life, and truth. Support us as we shine a light in the darkness. Donate today.
In what seems to be politically motivated prosecution, a case has been reopened against 48-year-old pro-life leader Mark Houck, for allegedly pushing a patient escort outside an abortion clinic last year. Armed FBI agents arrested the father of seven at his family home. Catholic Vote [...]
From 1.8 million years of life lost in Australia to almost a trillion dollars of financial costs, the COVID-19 lockdowns over the past three years have cost Australians far more than they have delivered. That’s according to a new research analysis by the Institute of [...]
Jacinda Ardern proposes taxing emissions from farm animals. Decimating the agricultural sector seems an acceptable sacrifice for jet-setting politicians. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has stood in for Prince William at a UN conference, describing herself as “an extremely poor substitute”. Other examples of [...]
The Respect for Marriage Act currently before Congress would enforce not only the acceptance of same-sex unions, but also "marriages" with multiple partners. This would further erode the right of children to be raised by their mother and father in a stable, faithful long-term relationship. [...]
The killing of Republican teen Cayler Ellingson over his political views is a terrible travesty, but the mainstream media seem to be sweeping it under the carpet. When 16-year-old Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann merely smiled at 64-year-old Native American activist Nathan Phillips, who approached [...]
The Christian ministry of deliverance and healing through the exorcism of those beset by evil spirits remains crucial today. By the name and authority of Jesus, those possessed or oppressed by demons can be freed. I was contacted a few weeks ago through Facebook messenger [...]
Good news seems to be coming out of Italy. A 45-year-old pro-family and pro-life conservative has become Italy’s first female Prime Minister. Giorgia Meloni was a conservative journalist who entered Italian politics in 2006. Since 2014 she has led the Brothers of Italy political party, [...]