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The most Valuable Thing

Roger Coombes

princessAt her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II was presented with a Bible as 'the most precious thing this world affords.' This was said amid priceless Crown Jewels! But the Bible was the most valuable thing.

The Queen's mother regularly read Bible stories to her young daughters, and she subscribed to daily devotional Bible reading notes. The Queen herselfwas 'said to keep a well-read Bible by her bedside.' (The Faithful Queen: 70 Years of Faithand Service by Catherine Butcher 2022, p15.)

The Archbishop of York recalls the Queen having a formidable knowledge of hymns, psalms and Scripture. She was immersed in Scripture, he says, and often used it as a way of comforting and re-assuring.

In our reading today from Acts ch. 11, Barnabas fetches the apostle Paul to teach the church in Antioch. The apostles' teaching, which has become the New Testament, is of untold value for an individual, for a Head of State and for a church.