Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands -
O prosper the work of our hands! (Psalm 90:17)
Last Sunday, it was wonderful to see many of you at St. Luke's final service. We took the opportunity to express our emotions and gratitude to God for the many years of worship, fellowship, and ministry that we have experienced in this building. Through our Thanksgiving prayers and a short video, we reminisced about the memories we have made. Our reflections centred on Jesus, the gate of the sheep that can never be closed. He offers a pathway to a future filled with opportunities, freedom, and movement. As we concluded the service, we renewed our commitment to follow God's lead in navigating the future, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Lastly, we extend our gratitude to all who joined us for the service and for the cake that was offered at the end.
In light of the significance of today's historical moment, I would like to share with you some words written by Paul Woolley (CEO of LICC).
I hope they will serve as a source of inspiration for you today. You can find the coronation liturgy here
Today, King Charles III will be crowned at Westminster Abbey. This is a historic moment in the life of the nation and Commonwealth. King Charles will be the 40th monarch to be crowned at the Abbey since the Coronation of William the Conqueror, on Christmas Day in 1066.
The Coronation service is explicitly Christian, a powerful reminder of the way in which the Christian story has profoundly shaped our culture. The essential elements date back to the crowning of King Edgar at Bath Abbey in 973, when he became the first King of All England. In that service, as with Today’s, there was a procession, oaths, anointing, and investiture, followed by Communion.
The tradition of anointing kings with oil is grounded in the Old Testament where Samuel anointed Saul (1 Samuel 10:1). In Today’s service, following the invocation of the Holy Spirit, King Charles will prepare for his anointing in the middle of Handel’s great anthem ‘Zadok the Priest’. During the anthem, the King will be divested of his robes and ornaments of state. He will then move to King Edward’s chair where he will put on a sleeveless white garment and be anointed with holy oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury, as Solomon was anointed by Zadok.
The act of consecration is the most sacred part of the service. The King, like Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, has asked that the cameras turn away. This will give him a private moment to reflect on the significance of the events taking place.
We might not be a king or queen, or even support the idea of monarchy in a modern democracy, but the Coronation gives us an opportunity to reflect on our own relationship to God. Firstly, before God, we stand alone and are divested of all worldly goods. We play to an audience of one. We are ultimately accountable to ‘God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth’, not the world’s media, a nation, a boss, customers, or shareholders.
Secondly, all followers of Jesus are anointed by God, ‘sealed with the Holy Spirit’ (Ephesians 1:13) for a task: to make the invisible God visible by what we do and the way we do it, to show the world there is a better way of being human. And that it looks like Jesus, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’ (Revelation 19:16).