Today is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Seventy years ago on this day, June 2nd, Elizabeth was anointed Queen.
Anointing is the ritual act of pouring aromatic oil over a person’s head or entire body.
Anointing symbolized the removal of sins and burdens. It welcomes and honours the recipient. And it consecrates the person – dedicates them to God, often for a particular role or specific purpose.
Down the ages priests and kings have been anointed. Aaron was anointed to be high priest. Both Saul and David were anointed to be king by the prophet Samuel.
Jesus is called Christ or Messiah. Both names mean ‘anointed one’ and the book of Acts records ‘how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. (Acts 10:38)
After her anointing Elizabeth declared the Coronation oath: The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God. Those things she promised were to:
Govern according to the respective laws and customs of the various countries.
Execute Law and Justice, in Mercy, in all her judgements
Maintain the laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel.
The extent to which this third condition mattered to Her Majesty has been heard in the speeches which she has made down the years. Many are the times when she has expressed the role her faith has played in helping her – in good times and bad. She has shown her faith to be an aspect of her everyday life. She has not hidden her faith but neither has she made a fuss about it. It has been the fuel for her life of service. Her example has won her the affection of this nation who today celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.
And so Lord, we thank you that you have given Elizabeth our Queen a heart to serve her people, and have kept her devoted in this service beyond all who were before her: encourage us by her example to serve one another, and to seek the common good, until you call us all to reign with Christ in your eternal kingdom.