Prayers for the next few weeks were sparked by a comment which referred to the Old Testament kings being anointed. This meant that they were chosen [ originally for Israel] a someone who equated to the Messiah, and had been given a spiritual blessing by the Holy Spirit.
So, the theme is of anointing and of Israel’s first anointed kings.
Olive oil in its natural form was commonly used to sooth skin
from the damaging effects of heat nd dust. Jews often welcomed visitors to their homes by smearing or pouring a little oil on their heads as an act of respect.
Special ceremonies developed from this initially for Priests and later for only the High Priests. The Bible gives very detailed instructions for the anointing ceremony, including the clothing to be prepared and worn and the perfumed oil to be used only for these ceremonies. The special oil was also commonly rubbed on items and the whole area where ceremonies took place.
As the society developed anointing became the means by which kings were appointed. Old Testament kings were regarded as God’s chosen ones, the Messiah’s of their time, chosen to represent God on earth.There was an expectation that they would be faithfuland obedient to God, and treat their subjects as God would like them to be treated.
However, the priests and the kings were human. They made mistakes, and many proved unable to fulfil the high ideals of their office.
Reading. Exodus 29:1 – 9 and 30: 22 – 32
You may like to read Chapters 28 through 30:
The priests were set apart, special, their annointing regarded as a spiritual experience. They were recognised by their robes, their way of life and their exclusive perfume.
Is there a place for anointing in the 21st century?
What societal conventions do we use when we welcome people to our homes?
Do we revere and set apart anyone? How is this manifested?
Prayer – You may like to put a little oil in a dish [e.g. olive oil] and put your finger tips into it as you pray.
In times past and time present, you God are integral to our world. We think of the Jewish people in past times who sought to live faithfully to your word. We thank you for the guidance you have given people through the centuries as communities have learnt and shared, made mistakes, and tried again to serve you.
You showed how everyday resources could become special, entrusting leaders to teach others about you, and how to follow you.
We acknowledge that we too often fail in our efforts to live faithful lives. We are grateful for you never failing love and ask you to forgive us. Help us to keep trying to live lives that will be pleasing to you. We know that each one of us is special to you. Bring us close and strengthen our faith we pray. Amen