I hope that you, dear reader, will be able to get out and enjoy the celebrations for the Queen’s platinum jubilee, whether it’s a street party, a short break away, or just some time off on the Bank Holiday.
70 years in the same job! The Queen is known for dedication and service and there will lot of tribute to that this week. If you feel inspired to join this spirit of service to the public/mankind/local community you might like to look at this link: https://www.sheffield.anglican.org/UserFiles/File/10_days_of_prayer/TKC/Platinum-Jubilee-70-Acts-of-Service-2.pdf It would be hard not to find something fun, and useful, to do on this list.
But the Queen is also known as a woman of great faith. Over the years I have been inspired by the way she quietly makes this clear, often in her Christmas message. In our coronation service the monarch is anointed with oil to confirm their role, a rite which has deep biblical roots. I’m sure this queen has taken that anointing profoundly seriously, as the origin of her call to service.
On Sunday both she and we will be celebrating another anointing – Pentecost, the annual commemoration of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church.
Jews will also be celebrating Shavuot, which among other things, commemorates the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Christian feast of Pentecost, (which happens fifty days after Passover and Easter) happened for the very first time while the disciples in Jerusalem were celebrating this Jewish feast. As on Mount Sinai, there was fire. The fire which came down on each of the Apostles drove them out, beyond the confines of the world they knew, to share God’s law with the entire world.
At the end of St John’s Gospel it says that if all the things that Jesus did were written down, even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. The same goes for the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is a gift, an anointing, sharing God’s life with every believer. The Spirit teaches prayer, love and praise, engenders compassion, creates communion between believers. In a sermon about this Rowan William evocatively describes how the Holy Spirit is an agent of connection among us:
“…Connecting us to a world of diverse and often terrible human experience. Connecting us to our own deepest selves. So that as we become more whole, more healed as persons, so we are more and more driven to adore God the Father in Jesus Christ, and to serve and stand alongside all God’s human children.”
Inspiration for us, as we prepare to celebrate Pentecost!?
 John 21:25