Queen's Vigil

The late Queen’s body lies now in state in Edinburgh’s High Kirk, with moving footage of her four children keeping vigil at its four corners. Our King’s accession to the throne, an occasion of celebration, is checked by the grief of his royal mother’s death. The role for which he has been groomed his whole life must only commence by grieving next to a bier bearing the Scottish crown and the former Scottish Queen who wore it. The death of one monarch creates another.

Few other jobs or occupations illustrate this disturbing principle as clearly as kings and queens, but all occupations work on this principle. I only teach in my school because 500-years’-worth of predecessors made room for me. I only minister at Martin Top because Pastors Partington, Dean and West et al died and vacated that great pulpit. Their death gave me opportunities to serve and pastor in their stead. Had the Lord given them 150-year lifespans, plain Marsden would have been surplus to requirement. Death, unpleasant and debasing though it is, allows others to flourish and fulfil their destinies.

The Christian gospel proclaims that we can only be right with God and enjoy the eternal life He gives because of Christ’s sacrificial death. His crucifixion procured for us redemption, forgiveness and life everlasting. Secondly, our own mortifications (that is, the ‘putting to death’ of our selfish, sinful natures) allow us to better fellowship and enjoy our loving, heavenly Father's company on earth.

Because of our Queen’s death, the former Prince of Wales became King. Upon Charles III’s death, William V will accede. Upon his death, George VII will occupy the throne, etc. Death not only provides us with a long line of kings and queens, but the means by which we can be reconciled to God.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15