Rev Noel Battye 06/02/2013
My age was in single figures when King George died and was succeeded by the present Queen, 61 years ago today.
A flu had kept us off school that day while in a quiet room my father was in the early stages of that same disease which had just claimed the life of the King.
George VI, that reluctant monarch, whose clear sense of duty saw this country through an abdication crisis a terrible world war and the difficult years of austerity afterwards.
Remarkably that same sense of duty has been the hallmark of his daughter’s reign as well – 61 years that have seen all the ups and downs of monarch.
One day celebrating in jubilee, the next looking back upon an annus horribilis, and all the while keeping a steady hand to the wheel as she carried on her duty.
Duty – a word we seldom hear nowadays.
Back in the 50s we had to learn of our duty to God and to our neighbour whereas now all the emphasis is on rights and what is due to us.
And that’s why it’s good that this last year of jubilee.
Not only raised moral for a while but also held before us a supreme example of faithful duty.
Duty done in good times and in bad.
Duty done doggedly, sometimes in the face of passing criticism.
Duty continuing to be done, over 25 years beyond normal retirement age.
Duty done, would that that could be said of each of us!
Lord you call each of us to serve you
in the living of each new day.
So at the beginning of this day
we offer ourselves to you afresh
that in our lives, your holy will be done
in Jesus Name.