By Walter Wangerin Jr.
Read Luke 1:26–38.
The Canaanites tell this disturbing folktale: if a jealous angel should appear to a young woman on the night of her betrothal, beware! It’s a sign that the she-demon will kill the man she’s soon to marry.
Could this be one of the reasons why Gabriel’s appearance to Mary troubles her? Gabriel (his name means “God is my hero”) is quick to allay her fears: “Hush, child. Mary, let your heart be calm. I’ve come with good news.” Ah, then he hasn’t come to harm the man she loves. The angel Gabriel says, “God told me to tell you that he has chosen you above all other women. In nine months you will bear a healthy and holy baby boy.”
What role does the Bible have in the life of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history? How has her inspirational character and profound faith been shaped by Scripture? On the throne bridging the 20th and 21st centuries, Queen Elizabeth has faced many personal and public storms: an early and surprising ascension to the throne, the dissolution of the British Empire, political upheavals, international crises, national tragedies, family deaths, and the tabloid travails of her children and grandchildren. But throughout all her trials and triumphs, Her Majesty credits her personal faith in Jesus Christ as the steadying anchor to her life and reign.
Bible Gateway interviewed Dudley Delffs about his book, The Faith of Queen Elizabeth: The Poise, Grace and Quiet Strength Behind the Crown (Zondervan, 2019).
Describe the childhood of Queen Elizabeth in terms of her spiritual development.
Dudley Delffs: Queen Elizabeth II grew up with the Christian faith instilled in her upbringing. Her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother as she was later known), made sure Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret, attended weekly church services, read their Bibles, and said bedtime prayers. The Queen Mother instilled a great love of the Scriptures in her daughters when they were young, reading from the King James Version as well as having them memorize favorite passages, often from the Psalms.