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Article in the June Diary by Ruth Pyke May 18, 2016

Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.
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A ninetieth birthday is always a time to celebrate and reflect, a time to bring all generations together to party. True for anyone who reaches the age of 90, it is as true for Her Majesty the Queen and for our nation which she serves so dutifully. In some of the pictures released of her there is a real smile of joy in her eyes. The weekend of 10th, 11th and 12th June will be the climax of the celebrations marked nationally with a service of thanksgiving, the trooping of the colour and a huge street party in The Mall. But here in our villages we are celebrating too, with picnics and tea parties. We pray for fine weather for all these events. As we rightly celebrate the Queen’s good health and long life, we also celebrate and give thanks for the stability that this has given us as a nation. Many nations in the world today long for stable government, a place where they can bring up their families in peace.

I recently saw a nest of robins. For the first five weeks of their life the parent bird provides shelter and food. During this time the young birds begin to fly, always returning to the nest and the food supply provided by the parents. The nest is a place of stability as great changes occur in the growth of the young robins.

The church also provides a place of stability, like a nest, where there is shelter and nurture. It is where people return for the great celebrations in life. St Paul’s Cathedral, the symbol of stability in the London Blitz, will be the focus for the national service of Thanksgiving on 10th June. St Paul’s is a great part of the London landscape and national heritage. Likewise, our local village churches are part of our landscape and heritage. But they must also be places engaged in the present, where we are challenged to work for that stable society, which values humanity and all creation.

There is a simple song which comes from the community of Taize in France. It speaks of the kingdom of God and the values which are foundational to that kingdom. But these same values are those which make up stable societies and kingdoms here on earth. They are the values of justice, peace and joy, values which have been supported and promoted by Her Majesty the Queen, worked for in our nation and in the commonwealth and which are God’s desire for us all.

The kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
Come Lord and open in us the gates of your kingdom.

© Ateliers et Presses de Taize 2005