Minister’s letter – Good work from the King
The King’s Christmas message was met with mixed reviews from Christians, some noting his testimony to “Our Lord Jesus Christ” while despairing over his affirmation that all religions can offer a kind of light in the darkness. However:
1. I remember his mother offering a similar message 20 years ago or so. His messages may evolve;
2. We must remember he is leading a multicultural society, and that he is not a preacher (although he probably did better than some clergy!), and;
3. The multifaith ‘light in the darkness’ was not necessarily the light of salvation, but the light of humans helping each other. While his use of gospel language might have risked misunderstanding, what the King delivered wasn’t so much a false gospel, but a unifying social message with a nod to the God that he himself believes in.
Then there was a moment in the royal carols service at the Abbey when a poem was read out at the King’s suggestion: Refugee by Malcolm Guite. It describes the holy family as refugees on account of Herod’s terror, before explaining how today “lambs are slaughtered by the men of power”. Then come the final two lines:
But every Herod dies, and comes alone/To stand before the Lamb upon the throne.
Could this be a moment of remarkable spiritual self-awareness from the King? A recognition of the truth found in 1 Cor 15:24? Let’s continue to pray for those in power.