I can’t remember exactly when the first time I heard the British national anthem “God Save The Queen”, but every time I do, it always gives me goose bumps. It’s a song that many of us in the UK have sung at the top of our voices whether at a sporting event or another engagement. For me, the words are truly powerful and regardless of the occasion I remember to thank God for keeping our queen.
After doing some insightful research, I found out that this blessed anthem is not only sung in the UK, but also in New Zealand, Jersey, Guernsey and other countries that are in the commonwealth realms, which include – Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Jamaica and many more. This royal anthem is played as a sign of honour and respect in the presence of the king or queen at formal or ceremonial occasions.
My research also revealed that the composer of the song is unknown, however many poets and writers have tried to hold claim to writing it. In my eyes, the song is much more than an anthem. When I hear it; it reminds me of my school days and the many hymns we would sing from “Amazing Grace” to “Abide With Me” and “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”. Many of these hymns are songs we sing in church today, which cause us to reflect on God’s faithfulness. Sometimes we forget to take time to reflect on the words and meditate on them. When we do this our worship before God will change, the hymn will not just be an ordinary song but our heart’s cry.
As I mentioned before in the last article, I ask myself questions like, “Why do we do what we do?” This month I was asking myself another question, “Does nationalities have any effect on the way we worship God in all areas of our lives?”
I began to ask many of my friends what they thought. Many gave their explanations to the vast importance on the roles in which nationality and culture has to play. In particular one friend said that nationality affects our worship to God because of the styles in which we worship, especially in African cultures with an extremely passionate style. However, she balanced it by saying how in the quietness of worship there is something special in the British way of worship.
My conclusion to this question is that nationality does play a part in the way we worship. Culture is also another key ingredient but first and foremost the Bible tells us in John 4:24 (NIV) “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” This must always be our foundation as believers. In Philippians 2:10-11 (NIV) it says “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” We must respect the way in which different cultures worship God, it is something to be admired. Where we are born and where we originate from will always shape our worship. But the styles in which we worship must always be centred on our Lord Jesus Christ.
God made us beautiful in our diversity and as we worship him coming from different cultures and nations we express our love and gratitude to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.