Culture

Jesus the Queen's inspiration through 'good times and bad'

The Queen has remembered the lonely and dangerous birth of Jesus in her Christmas Day message.

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Rounding out a message about the home and family, the monarch continued her recent tradition of speaking openly about her Christian faith.

“We remember the birth of Jesus Christ whose only sanctuary was a stable in Bethlehem,” she said.

He knew rejection, hardship and persecution and yet it is Jesus Christ’s generous love and example which has inspired me through good times and bad.”

The Queen writes her own Christmas message without seeking government advice. Observers have noticed that since 2000, when she said Christ’s life and teaching “provide a framework in which I try to lead my life”, her messages have become more overtly Christian in tone.

The Queen, 91, began her message by referring to the technological changes that have happened since her first televised Christmas broadcast 60 years ago in 1957.

“Six decades on, the presenter has evolved somewhat, as has the technology she described,” she said, referring to herself in the third person.

“Back then who could have imagined that people would be watching this on laptops and mobile phones, as some of you are today.”

But what hasn’t changed, she said, was that most viewers would be watching the broadcast from home.

“We think of our homes of places of warmth, familiarity and love, of shared stories and memories which is perhaps why at this time of year so many return to where they grew up,” she said.

“There is a timeless simplicity to the pull of home. For many the idea of homes reaches beyond a physical building to a home town or city.”

She then referred to London and Manchester, saying their powerful identities shone through in the past 12 months in the face of appalling attacks.

A few days after the Manchester bombing, the Queen met some of the young survivors and their parents in hospital.

“I described that hospital visit as a privilege because the patients I met were an example to us all showing extraordinary bravery and resilience,” she said.

“But I know his support and unique sense of humour will remain as strong as ever.”

She also reflected on the shocking Grenfell Tower fire in London, where the comfort of home as a sanctuary was shattered.

“Here in London who can forget the sheer awfulness of the Grenfell Tower fire. Our thoughts and prayer are with all those who died and those who lost so much, and we are indebted to members of the emergency services who risked their own lives this past year saving others.

The Queen also paid a romantic tribute to her husband of 70 years, Prince Philip, who this year at the age of 96 decided to slow down in his public duties.

“But I know his support and unique sense of humour will remain as strong as ever as we enjoy spending time together this Christmas with our family.”

She also referred to the upcoming wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, by saying they look forward to welcoming new members into the family next year.

 

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