Anointed & Sent: as oaks of righteousness
Isaiah 61:1-3 is the text for Sunday. What does it mean to have "the Spirit of the Lord upon me?" The mantle on the table evokes the covering and shrouding that happens when God's Spirit covers us up completely. It reminds me of the funerals at Salem when we would take the shroud that had an embroidered cross woven into it and cover up the casket. As ornate or fancy as a casket was, or as cheap and simple, it was now cloaked and covered with one thing: the Cross of Christ. Being anointed is to be shrouded. And being shrouded is to be sent. Isaiah 61:1-3 has 11 infinitives "to..." indicating where we are to be sent.
My thoughts as I approach Sunday is that we have done a much better job over the years with anointing than with sending. What gets in the way of our sending? Is it the structure of the church that requires so much time and energy for maintenance? Is it the safety of gathering together in Christian community versus stepping into groups and lives where Christ is not known? Is it simple ignorance in that we have believed (and maybe taught) that the Christian faith is a personal possession to be owned and enjoyed, but not necessarily shared and given away?
May God's Spirit fall on me....fall on us!