On the 8th May 1945 the Second World War came to an end in what has become known as VE day. Yesterday we celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of that notable day.
We once again witnessed that amazing footage of the vast crowds that gathered in front of Buckingham Palace cheering and, in the words of King George V1, celebrating the end of 'nearly six years of suffering and peril'.
At 10pm on that Friday evening two young ladies joined the crowd. They mingled with everyone else and nothing about their dress or conduct would have suggested to anyone that they were particularly special. They were part of a group of around fifteen young people who just wanted to join the celebrations and rejoice, with others, that the global conflict had ended.
Who were these two young ladies? Well one was none other than the 19-year-old Princess Elizabeth, our present Queen. The other was her younger sister Princess Margaret.
The Queen, commenting on the incident many years later, mentioned that she was wearing the uniform of the Auxiliary Transport Service to which she belonged and she had pulled her uniform cap well down over her eyes to disguise her identity. No one recognised the Royals and they safely returned to the Palace at 1am.
The thing is that, although they looked and acted just like everyone else in that great crowd, they were still royal princesses. They did not lose their royal identity when they joined the crowd. Princess Elizabeth became 'one of us' for a few hours but was still always the heir to the throne.
This so reminds me of Jesus. He left the glory of heaven and came and lived among us. John reminds us that the 'Word became flesh and dwelt among us' (John 1:14). But in coming among us he never ceased to be God.
He came to save us from our sin, and we who are trusting in him are so thankful for his death on the cross in our place. But we are also thankful that he has been here.
When we trust in Jesus we trust in one who not only saves us but in one who understands us. He's been here. He knows about the pain, the struggles and the trials of this life.