Elizabeth II, who has ruled as the Queen of England and Supreme Governor of the Church of England for nearly 65 years, said in her Christmas message for 2016 that although Jesus Christ lived in obscurity for most of his life, “billions of people,” including herself, “now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light of their lives.”
In her videotaped speech, released on Christmas Day, Queen Elizabeth said, “When people face a challenge, they sometimes talk about taking a deep breath to find courage or strength. In fact, the word ‘inspire’ literally means ‘to breathe in.’ But even with the inspiration of others, it’s understandable that we sometimes think the world’s problems are so big that we can do little to help.”
“On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine,” said the Queen.
“At Christmas, our attention is drawn to the birth of a baby some 2,000 years ago,” she said. “It was the humblest of beginnings, and his parents, Joseph and Mary, did not think they were important.”
“Jesus Christ lived obscurely for most of his life, and never traveled far,” she said. “He was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong.”
“I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe,” she said.
“The message of Christmas reminds us that inspiration is a gift to be given as well as received, and that love begins small but always grows,” said the Queen. “I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”
Elizabeth II is the Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. She is also the Head of the Commonwealth of 12 formerly British colonies, including Jamaica, the Bahamas, Belize and Saint Kitts.
St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II attends services every Sunday. (AP)
Elizabeth II is the longest ruling monarch in British history, having served since Feb. 6, 1952, more than 64 years ago. She is married to Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburugh. Her heir apparent is Charles, the Prince of Wales. His two sons are Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Henry of Wales.