The Queen is 90 years old on April 21st this year. Apparently there is going to be an almighty street party on the Mall, lots of pomp and ceremony and a special lunch with President Obama. Then, in case any one forgets to send her a card, she has an official birthday on the 11th June. It’s apparently so that she can have a party that has a high probability of good weather.
It’s a bit like me being a bit rubbish and not quite getting around to doing my childrens’ birthday parties on the actual day because I can’t quite organise myself properly. Mind you, I’d probably be equally as rubbish if they had two birthdays – or would that be doubly as rubbish?
The speed my question popped up on Google shows it’s a question that’s been asked a lot. I simply typed ‘Why does the Queen…’ and the first option was ‘Have two birthdays?’
Nearly 2000 years ago a chap called Nicodemus asked a very similar question of Jesus. The conversation went something like this. (I’m going to paraphrase wildly here!)
N – You’re amazing Jesus, you must have come from God!
J – You can only see God’s Kingdom if you’ve been born again.
N – Huh!? I’m an old geezer, I can’t fit back inside my mum!
J – Don’t worry! That’s not what I mean. It’s your spirit that gets born again not your body.
At this my poor saggy belly breathes a sigh of relief – there is no way I could accommodate my 14 year old twins in there!
Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment that we deserve – if we accept this fact, this gift, it’s as if we died with him, and as he rose again 3 days later, so did we. We are new creations, unburdened by our old misdemeanours, viewed as clean and perfect by God. A clean start, just like the day we were born the first time, only this time it’s better, we know God. We then grow spiritually too; Paul describes it as being weaned; going from milk to solid food as we learn more and get to know God better.
At Grace Church Wanstead that is our main aim – to get to know God better and to tell others how they too can receive this new start. Please join us on a Sunday or at one of our midweek Bible studies to find out more.
… and if the Queen is a Christian, she has been born again through the Spirit, and that means she has a third birthday – I’m not buying her 3 presents! (You can buy me two though if you wish).