Queen Elizabeth's recent absence from church on Christmas and New Year's Day had her nation (and the world) worried. The beloved monarch, reigning for more than six decades, had not missed either service in decades.
And the cause to worry was just: The palace shared that the queen and her husband Prince Phillip were suffering from severe colds in December.
While a cold might not seem serious, any intense sickness for a 90 year old is a potentially big deal. Thankfully, the queen's recent appearance at church this last Sunday put the country's mind at ease.
The Gospel Herald reports: "The queen, who wore a vibrant blue coat and hat, was driven from her country home to the local church while other royals walked. After exchanging a short greeting with the vicar she entered the church to cheers from wellwishers."
Despite her illness, Queen Elizabeth delivered a powerful prerecorded Christmas message to her people. For the second year in a row, it was the most watched program on television that day, with over 8 million viewers.
The Queen began, "When people face a challenge, they sometimes talk about taking a deep breath to find courage or strength. In fact, the word 'inspire' literally means 'to breathe in.' But even with the inspiration of others, it's understandable that we sometimes think the world's problems are so big that we can do little to help."
She continued, "On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine," said Elizabeth. "At Christmas, our attention is drawn to the birth of a baby some two thousand years ago. It was the humblest of beginnings, and his parents, Joseph and Mary, did not think they were important."
The Queen spoke lovingly as Jesus as her Savior. "Jesus Christ lived obscurely for most of his life, and never traveled far," she continued. "He was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong. And yet, billions of people now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ's example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe."
Thankfully the queen is recovering from her intense cold; but the Palace has reported that she is stepping down from being patron over several charities to reduce her workload. It seems wise to do so, to preserve her health as much as possible.
Let's pray that Queen Elizabeth has many more healthy years! She has been such a great leader, don't you agree?