Warm and sincere greetings in the name of Christ.
We shared in a wonderful Easter together this year and our celebration on Easter Sunday was filled with the presence and fragrance of our risen Lord. Rarely have I heard such magnificent singing from a congregation of about 70 souls. It was great to enjoy Jubilate’s ministry for the first time without Daniel, and they were brilliant. Well done to them! Jubilate’s leadership on Good Friday was also a blessing. A big thank you to all who were involved in all our worship services throughout Holy Week.
Our next stop in terms of the Church liturgical year is Pentecost as we look forward to the promise of the presence and power of the Spirit. Nothing is more important that our understanding and acceptance of our need for the power of the Holy Spirit for Christian witness and service. The risen Jesus told his disciples to “wait for the gift” his Father had promised. (Luke 24:9, Acts 1:4) This was the gift of baptism with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:5) This was the gift that would enable them to take the gospel to the ends of the earth and serve the Lord with supernatural strength and gifts. The Holy Spirit’s presence in their hearts would make all the difference between success and failure.
God the Father and His Son take joy in pouring out the anointing of the Spirit from heaven upon his waiting and obedient servants on earth. During the coronation service of King Charles III, there will be an anointing ceremony with a rare oil that earlier this year was specially prepared and consecrated in Jerusalem. The oil was created using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and the Monastery of the Ascension. The olives were pressed just outside Bethlehem and the oil was then perfumed with essential oils – sesame, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin and amber, as well as orange blossom. Our King’s anointing will be a solemn and sacred moment in history.
All followers of Jesus are each richly and lavishly anointed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is our special anointing from God, and through it we receive authority and power to effectively serve the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Pentecost reminds us of this empowerment from on high. (Luke 24:49) We have each received a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline as well as gifts that we need to fan into flame for the glory of God. (2 Timothy 1: 6-7) Pentecost celebrates holy fire within us and the holy oil upon us!
Thank God today for the anointing you have received. Thank God that He has generously poured out His Holy Spirit into our hearts. (Romans 5:5) Thank God that we serve not in your own strength and power but in His. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us and equips us with His Spirit. We are anointed and clothed with power from on high.
May our new King – Charles III be kept and guided and held by the pure light of the Holy Spirit. May we also live and serve and walk in the Spirit’s power and holiness. There will be no limits to what can be achieved by a Church filled and led by such a special anointing of power! Oh God of all grace – freshly anoint your servants at Christchurch with the empowering and enlivening Spirit, to the praise of your name alone. Amen.
Peace and grace be with you all.
And as for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you… (1 John 3: 27a)