Thought for the week by the Rev Laura Baker: Happy birthday, Ma’am

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Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II! I hope she enjoys her 90th birthday celebrations. Apologies to any republicans but I am a huge fan of the Monarchy and have a great deal of respect for the Queen. My grandmother would disown me if I didn’t! My Granny is 91 and loves the Queen more than I do, perhaps seeing in her a role model, a respected elderly woman, a representative of her generation.

When I think that the Queen came to the throne at the age of 25, I’m astounded. I came to King’s Lynn two years ago when I was 25 and newly ordained, I started my junior role of sharing the responsibility of the church with the vicar. I can’t imagine being in charge of a whole country at 25.

I find her quiet faith in God to be very inspiring, too. There is a new little book being published for her birthday called ‘The Servant Queen and the King She Serves’ which contains her words about God. In the foreword to the book, the Queen wrote, ‘I have been – and remain – very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for his steadfast love. I have indeed seen his faithfulness.”

For as long as I can remember, my family organises the Christmas dinner between church and the Queen’s speech. We never miss it, apart from one year when the oven stopped working and we ate too late and my Granny had to watch the speech on my cousin’s phone! I like how the Queen speaks about the last year and the Gospel at the same time. Last year, she seemed to speak about the refugee crisis. She said: “Despite being displaced and persecuted throughout his short life, Christ’s unchanging message was not one of revenge or violence but simply that we should love one another. Although it is not an easy message to follow, we shouldn’t be discouraged; rather, it inspires us to try harder: to be thankful for the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives, and to look for ways of spreading that love to others, whenever and wherever we can.”

I wish Her Majesty as wonderful birthday, though perhaps birthdays are less exciting as we get older.

My Granny wrote in my birthday card: “Forget the figures. It gets worse. One is never pleased.”