Weekend Thought by Eleanor Ridge

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“OUR rock of ages”. I wonder how the Queen would have reacted had she read the Free Press headlines last week?

For there is only one rock of ages. However, it is a fitting title to cover the dedication of the reign of Elizabeth II for 60 years.

There is no doubt our Queen has been a rock – she has kept every word of her promise.

Travelling the world meeting and graciously talking with all ages, faiths, cultures; sharing in our world’s horrific disasters showing us her great and sensitive heart.

And, although on a different level from us, even responding to our national financial situation by making her own cutbacks.

What’s more, she has overcome her share of personal family adversities as the gathering on the balcony revealed clearly the reality of forgiveness shared between them.

Primarily, in the face of growing scepticism over Christian beliefs, she has maintained her firm faith in the God who has sustained her through all these hardships – her rock of ages.

Her last Christmas message revealed the depth of her beliefs. She will have leaned hard on that rock of ages during her 60 years.

As she stood alone without Prince Philip at her side in St Paul’s Cathedral last week, in a way it emphasised how well she personally had kept the vows made so many years previously in the same place.

How many times through 60 long years I wonder did she whisper quietly: “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee... Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling...”

She is, after all, only a woman. One in a million but even she needed to cling to the cross.

How amazing that the rock of ages can be a hiding place for each one of us, without title, fame or fortune; in fair winds or foul, if we but call out: “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.”