I’ve read a lot of fascinating stuff and a lot of gumpf about the Queen this week. I’ve seen fellow Christians like myself who respect the Queen’s faith and honour her place of service in the role of our nation. And I’ve read a lot of genuine & thought provoking questions about the monarchy from republicans believers (and a lot of uninformed opinion from career naysayers).
I’ve stood in Church and sung the National Anthem and I’ve heard the same tune sung countless times over the weekend of jubilee celebrations. Yet not once have I heard any more than the 1st two verses sung. (And forget the mindlessly repeated misinformation that there is a verse about crushing Scots. There isn’t.)
Even in our (admittedly dreadful) Common Praise hymn books at our more traditional Church Service we only have the 1st two verses printed. But why? We are possibly the only nation that sings its National Anthem so little and also probably the only one that never sings all of it at all.
This particularly strange in Church where Monarchists and republicans alike surely could get behind the 4th verse. The verse that is about the taking of the Gospel of love to the world. The missional call at the heart of our nation’s song:
Not in this land alone,
But be God’s mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world over.
How awesome is that?
Right in the middle of our national anthem, a song that is in every other way about the person of the Monarch, there is this proclamation that our role as a nation is to share the gospel in our world. Not in this land alone, But be God’s mercies known, From shore to shore!