This is an extract from Rev Sheila Cameron’s sermon on 7 May 2023, The Fifth Sunday of Easter, when she was reflecting on our readings in the light of the Coronation of King Charles III the previous day:

Today, as we look forward to Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit, our readings celebrate the status of Christians as God’s chosen people, divinely gifted, and celebrated in that rich variety of images in 1 Peter: we are not only “the stones that the builders rejected,” but also “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people.”

You’d be forgiven for thinking there are just too many images here to get your head around. But Christians are all these things, because as followers of Jesus, we have been gifted with the Holy Spirit. The journey begins with baptism, and that includes the gift of the Spirit, a sign of which in our Anglican tradition is the anointing of every new Christian with the oil of chrism …

Yesterday’s moment of anointing, or Act of Consecration, was veiled from the eyes of the public, hidden from the cameras, kept as a moment of deep personal encounter between the new sovereign and God. Like our Lord Jesus Christ, King Charles was anointed “not to be served but to serve.” The moment of anointing was similar to baptism, in the eyes of Christians a transformative moment of encounter and divine gifting.

We read in Acts today of one particular life transformed by the gift of the Spirit, challenged in a way that was irresistible. The death of the first martyr, Stephen, is a shocking story, and yet the focus is not on the violence but rather on the radiance that shines from the face of Stephen. He was “filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). Like Christ on the mountain, he was transfigured. …

Do read the whole of Sheila’s sermon at this link.

Our picture by Matea Gregg is a slightly lightened version of the one made available on the Unsplash platform.

Coming up …
  • 26 May 2024
    9:30 am Sung Eucharist
  • 26 May 2024
    11:00 am Morning Worship
  • 2 June 2024
    9:30 am Sung Eucharist
  • 9 June 2024
    9:30 am Sung Eucharist

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