Deuteronomy 11: 18-21, 26-28, Hebrews 11: 8-16, St Matthew 5: 1-12
In 1976, the United States celebrated the 200th Anniversary of its independence from England. That year a friend of mine who is now a distinguished American historian told me that he thought we should send a new declaration to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, saying that the whole thing was a terrible mistake and would she please take us back. My friend’s comment was not merely an indication of the great respect which many Americans hold for Queen Elizabeth. It was also a sign of our awareness that the British system of government has kept a quality of leadership which our own system lacks. That quality is continuity – a continuity which abides in the life of this nation above the scramble of ‘politics as usual’ which is an inevitable dimension of government in our world.