What does it mean to be anointed? Anointing was a common ancient cultural practice. Shepherds often poured oil on the heads of their sheep in order to protect them from insects that would burrow in their ears and kill them, contributing to anointing becoming symbolic of blessing, protection, and empowerment. The Jewish people anointed the altar when making sacrifices. Spiritually, anointing was related to the idea of strength or blessing. Priests were anointed with oil, later followed by Samuel anointing both Saul and later David (one of our texts this week) as kings of Israel. This anointing signified a person as a chosen one among the people.
In the New Testament, we are told God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor" (Luke 4:18.) In Acts 10:38 it says, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power." This was a term used to emphasize Jesus as the chosen one of God.
In our texts for this week, we see the anointing of David and also Jesus with expensive perfume by his friend Mary, the sister of Lazarus. What do these passages say about the calling of the anointed? What is God calling you to become? What have you been anointed to do? Come and worship with us this Sunday as we explore these questions.
I'm a follower of Christ, husband, father, friend, pastor, story teller, asker of questions, inspired by biblical narratives, social justice advocate, sports enthusiast, drinker of over priced coffee and general seeker of God's redemptive possibilities. Yeah, that about covers it. (If you discover something else, let me know!)