From the Desk of Cheryl Hauer
Some thoughts as we approach Rosh Hashannah which begins at sunset Sunday evening, September 25.
All eyes have been on Great Britain for the past 10 days to witness the emotional events surrounding the funeral and interment of Queen Elizabeth II. The beloved Monarch passed away in Balmoral Scotland at 96 after a remarkable reign of 70 years. She made her final trek from Scotland to London along highways and byways lined with hundreds of thousands of weeping mourners, with over a quarter of a million more to wait in line for up to 14 hours to pay their respects by passing by her coffin as she lay in state at Westminster. Tens of millions of flowers have been left in London parks together with Paddington bears, pictures of corgis, poems, letters and other tributes while similar memorials and commemorations were set up literally all over the globe.
It seems many of us were fascinated as events unfolded, judging by the fact that every major US news outlet gave them all-in coverage. Insiders and outsiders alike were appalled and slammed CBS when they cut their coverage of her funeral short to air Let’s Make a Deal and The Price is Right. The Queen was a global icon who was respected by millions, many of whom were not under her reign, and though they may have admired her, were confused and even a bit awed by the impassioned loyalty of her subjects. Having never lived in a monarchy, it is difficult to understand the relationship between the Monarch and the subjects. And I think somewhere in all that pomp and circumstance, a spiritual lesson awaits us.
From the book Repent the Day Before you Die:
“For many Christians raised in modern democratic countries, the idea of living under the rule of a sovereign king or queen is hard to grasp. And today, the role of the royal family is significantly different than in ancient times when the word of the monarch could not be challenged. The Bible tells us Queen Esther literally risked her life simply by entering the king’s throne room uninvited. Countless other stories clearly illustrate the power of biblical kings who determined the destiny of people and nations with just a few words. Absolute power. Absolute authority. And sometimes, absolute corruption and evil.
The Bible is very clear that the God we serve is also Royalty, but He is not just a king, He is the king, and the only one with truly absolute power and authority. At Rosh HaShanah, as we celebrate His coronation, we have the opportunity to submit ourselves anew to His Kingship. Unlike some earthly royalty, our Monarch does not demand absolute surrender, nor does He rule with the iron fist of fear and intimidation that marked the reigns of so many biblical kings. Rather, He invites willful submission and reigns with mercy and love. The choice is ours, and as we submit to His sovereignty, we not only become His subjects, but part of His royal family as well. At Rosh HaShannah, we stand in awe of the power that created and sustains the universe while dancing with joy that our King is also our beloved.”
If an earthly monarch like Queen Elizabeth, though wise and just but still only a fallible human being, could engender the kind of passionate love and loyalty we witnessed this past week, how much more is due the King of Kings and Lord and Lords, our God and our King. So let’s ask ourselves these questions: Is God truly king in my life? Am I submitted to His absolute authority? Do I willingly surrender my will to His sovereignty in every situation? This Rosh Hashanna, may our answer be a resounding “Yes!”
This article contains excerpts from Repent the Day Before You Die, by Rev. Rebecca J.Brimmer and Rev. Cheryl L. Hauer, available at bridgesforpeace.com
Blessings and Shalom,