June is often a time of celebrations, whether those are of family or local events, or of course this year the Queen’s 90th Birthday, which we are celebrating in different ways in each of our villages.
Family celebrations tend to be about the people we know and love, and can be for many reasons: birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, examination success, homecomings and so on – every family is different. At the local celebrations it tends to be with a mixture of those we know and love, and at national level it is very much about being thankful for all that has gone before: Her Majesty will only know a small proportion of those who celebrate her birthday this month.
Celebration and history, they go together, and we celebrate because we know the details of those whose lives we honour.
In the case of the Queen, much is known and at the moment there are many television programmes reminding us of events in her life. As the Church we celebrate every Sunday what Jesus did for each one of us on the cross. We don’t actually know that much about him as a human being: the gospels record his birth, a brief incident when he was twelve years old, and then we hear nothing more until he begins his ministry at about thirty, only to die on the cross approximately three years later.
There is a poem called ‘One Solitary Man’, about the life of Jesus, which concludes;
‘All the armies that ever marched,
All the navies that ever sailed,
All the parliaments that ever sat,
All the kings that ever reigned,
Have not affected the life of man on earth as much as that
One Solitary Life’
As ordinary everyday people we each have the opportunity to make a difference, whether through word or action, that others will celebrate, either with us or for us.
Every day too there is something to celebrate, in the beauty of the world around us, especially in this place.