The practice of anointing is not as common in our culture as it was in David’s time. It was often used as a rite of inauguration. A bit of oil would be smoothed onto someone’s head as a blessing or charge was said over him. Being anointed marked someone with a position of honor. As a young man, David himself was anointed to be a future king.
I think as Christ followers, we have a tendency to imagine a hierarchy of Christians. We reserve certain faith-based responsibilities as only appropriate for pastors, ministers, or priests. We are quick to discount ourselves as well as our role. “Well, I’m not a pastor, so I can’t…” This is a dangerous paradigm, as it impedes the mission of God’s Kingdom.
We’ve talked on this journey about how Jesus flipped the script and turned common beliefs and practices upside-down. Jesus did not anoint His disciples’ heads with oil, but He did anoint them. On the day before His crucifixion, Jesus once again took on the role of servant leader, stooped down, and washed the feet of His disciples. Today, the day before Good Friday in which we remember His sacrifice, may we also remember the commission Jesus gave just after this unique anointing:
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:15
You are anointed. You are commissioned.
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 1 Corinthians 1:21-22
Did you catch that? Perhaps you’ve never been anointed with oil, but as a Christ follower, you have been anointed with the Holy Spirit. Our Advocate gives us the power to follow the example of Jesus. He equips us to love and serve as Jesus did.
- pray with someone
- talk with someone about your faith and how your relationship with Jesus has transformed your life
- lead a bible study or small group discussion on faith
- read and interpret scripture
- write a blog 😉
Unfortunately, history has shown that the Church has set up a system that teaches us to rely on those with a title. Some of this was done intentionally in an effort to control the people. This greatly changed when the printing press was created, and people could begin to read and understand scripture for themselves. But, I also think that many of us still adhere to a hierarchy. Don’t misunderstand me. I am so grateful for the pastors in my life! God uses their education, discernment, and experiences to challenge and grow me. But, if we assume only clergy are able to grow us or advance the Kingdom of God, we are limiting the work the Holy Spirit desires to do with, in, and through us.
How would your life look different if you were to live this out?
Jesus, thank You for the reminder of how you humbly love and serve. You have commissioned us to do likewise. Help us to understand how that looks for each one of us, and give us the courage to act upon it. In Your name, Amen.