Do promises matter? Yes. The Queen’s life shows us why.
There is great merit in people making excellent promises, freely and without compulsion. The great merit shows itself as the promise-maker follows through to the benefit of others as well as their own character and reputation.
We have been the beneficiaries of excellent promises of commitment made by the Queen.
First, the astonishing statement on her 21st birthday from South Africa which included words such as: ‘I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service……’. She knew the value of a few well-chosen words of commitment, she meant them and fulfilled them, and so many of us have benefitted.
Second, at her wedding later that year: the vows made with her husband on 20th November 1947 were the serious bedrock of a supportive relationship which helped her to lead and serve in such a steadfast way. It is no surprise to me that her health has declined palpably since losing her dearest Philip. Their covenant love was a thing which changed much for the better. Promises made and kept are truly powerful.
Third, the solemn holy promises made to God and people at her coronation. They weren’t just words to be trotted out. For the young Elizabeth they were the markers for the path of the rest of her life.
The only promise which had a bigger effect than these, on the life of our dear departed Queen, would have been the promise made when she devoted her heart and her life to Jesus Christ.
Good lifelong promises are life transforming in all sorts of ways.
On Sunday 9th October, at a 6.30pm service with the Bishop of Stockport, seven people from Holmes Chapel will make some of the most solemn promises of their lives. It is our pleasure to be hosting a Confirmation service, where those who have been previously baptised, often when they were infants, at the behest of their parents, have the opportunity to make a public commitment to Jesus for themselves.
There are promises of commitment to Jesus Christ, and the solemn speaking of the creed, the statement of belief in God who, as our creator and redeemer, has primary claim on our lives. Lives promised to the service of Jesus are much more likely to be steadfast fruitful lives.
Come to St Luke’s on Sunday 2nd October for our Harvest Festival services. And also come on the evening of Sunday 9th October, for the Confirmation service with Bishop Sam. There is nothing better to hear than excellent lifelong promises.
With my prayers and encouragement in Jesus’ name,