All change (20-09-2022)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:13)
Like many millions of people around the world, Rob and I watched the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the second yesterday. Since her death 11 days ago there has been a great deal of news coverage surrounding her passing and the accession to the throne of King Charles the third. As the late Queen’s coffin made its journey first through Scotland from Balmoral, then to Buckingham Palace and Westminster and finally on to Windsor Castle, I watched as thousands of people came out to line the route as a mark of respect. But what amazed me more was the sight of the thousands of people who queued to walk past the coffin both at St Gile’s Cathedral in Edinburgh and then at Westminster Hall in London. People, young and old, from all walks of life queued for hours on end, sometimes through the night and in the rain, in order to spend just a few minutes walking past the coffin.
There were also the people who camped out for days before the funeral in order to get to watch the procession from the best spot on the day, some of whom had already been part of the queue to walk past the coffin in Westminster Hall. Not unsurprisingly news reporters were out amongst the crowds asking them why they were there, what was their motivation for spending so long in a queue or by the side of a road, just so that they could see a coffin? People talked about their wish to pay their respects, about their love for The Queen and about wishing to mark the end of an era. They talked about the importance of this event in the history of our country. People also spoke about how The Queen was a constant in their lives and how they had never known life without her. There was a feeling that this was a time of change and people felt destabilised by the loss of The Queen.
In our lives things will always change, there are very few absolute constants. However, for the Christian, we do have constants and certainties in our lives that will never change. The Queen was our monarch for 70 years and now we have King Charles, for how long we do not know. God has been God since the beginning. In the beginning God, at the end God. Of this we can be certain. In the book of Revelation Jesus says “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” We have a God who is constant, who was there before the world began and will be there after it ends. What is more amazing is that this God loves us, each one of us, so whatever changes are happening around us, whatever the future brings, we have God and that will never change.
We thank you Lord, that yesterday, today and forever, you are the same God, always constant, always there.