When Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest in September, you may have noticed the jewel-encrusted globe placed on top of her coffin.
Forged in 1661, this priceless artefact – known as the Sovereign’s Orb – was a symbol of her role as ‘Defender of the Faith’, and a reminder that her authority was bestowed upon her by God.
Its prominence at her funeral was a powerful testimony to a monarch known for her deep Christian faith – a faith she openly and enthusiastically spoke of in her Christmas messages dating back to the start of her reign in 1952.
Drawing on these speeches, in which she regularly reflected on the gift of Jesus’ birth to humanity, CBA’s Christmas programming on Newstalk ZB will feature her prominently.
Above: Queen Elizabeth II gave her very first Christmas message in 1952 •
Our team has delved into the archives to listen back to 70 years of her Christmas messages, which traverse myriad historic events from the Tangiwai disaster back in 1953, to Charles and Diana’s wedding in the ‘80s, right through to the 9/11 attack in 2001 and the death of Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip just last year.
It’s a fascinating insight into Queen Elizabeth II’s life and faith, providing an opportunity to look back not just at major world events of the last seven decades, but how the Queen framed them in light of the hope she held in Christ’s redemptive power.
Above: The Queen regularly spoke of her faith at Christmas •
And that’s just one part of this year’s Christmas broadcast.
CBA has been given the keys to New Zealand’s most-listened-to commercial radio network for 18 hours, and we’ll be using that air time to communicate the heart of the Christian faith.
We’ve got plenty of exciting segments in the works – our Crazy Kiwi Christmas Kids Show is returning, we’ve got a feature on the music and complicated faith journey of Whitney Houston, and we’ve got a stellar cast of Christian broadcasters retelling the Christmas story in creative and engaging ways.
Thank you for the vital part you play in bringing the joy of Christmas to the people of Aotearoa.
If you’d like to join us on the day, we’d be delighted to have your listening ear. You can tune into Newstalk ZB from 6pm to midnight on Christmas Eve and from 6am to 6pm on Christmas Day. •