Weekly Update from Andy - 18th April 2021
Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’ Matthew 20:25-28
I have been impressed, particularly over the last couple of weeks since his death, by Prince Philip’s embodiment of this godly principle. Clearly he made some mistakes, notably in some of his unfiltered comments over the years. But, nevertheless, his dedication to a life of selfless service is to be admired, and I have no doubt it stems from his deeply held Christian faith.
Three attributes have stood out to me over the last couple of weeks. The first is how he overcame a difficult start to life, fleeing Greece as a refugee, being passed around various relatives and boarding schools through his childhood, and coping with early bereavement. Yet he never seemed to wallow in self-pity. The second is how exceptionally capable he was, as is demonstrated, for example, in his rapid rise through the ranks of the Royal Navy and in his careful planning of his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme such that it could endure and spread across the world.
The third attribute is made all the more remarkable, considering the first two. It is his willingness to play second-fiddle to the Queen for more than 70 years together. Of course, he made the role of Royal Consort his own, and effected significant change in the Royal family behind the scenes, but it was always behind the scenes in support of his wife, never seeking the limelight himself.
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” We see this principle lived out in the life of Prince Philip, but even more, of course, in the life of Jesus, himself, who “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” May we strive to go and do likewise.
My love to you all
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