Anointed with Truth

Anointed with Truth

Key Texts:  1 John 2:20

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.


It means “to smear or rub with oil” – and it has a rich history going back to the practice of ancient shepherds pouring oil on their sheep’s head, thus protecting them from the insects that could burrow into the sheep’s ears and do them harm.  In time, the practice of pouring oil on the head of the “anointed” held great symbolic value – signifying God’s blessing and protection.  Anointing also came to be associated with healing, and a practice of the early church.  Finally, it came to be associated with having a special calling from God, for God’s special purpose.

So it is important that John spoke about God’s people carrying out their special purpose, under God’s blessing and protection, in the evil times in which he lived – and those that were to come.

Today, I believe those who follow Christ are anointed as well.

We are called to serve, indeed blessed to serve.

We are also the bearers of truth and givers of grace, in Christ’s name, to those who are struggling and lost in the life choices.

It’s a great responsibility – and a great blessing.

How good a job are we at doing it?

Well, that’s a matter of great debate.

I’ve written before about the division I see in the Church worldwide and I believe this division is one of the greatest hindrances we have to fulfilling our “calling” as Christians.

We are all anointed – all blessed, all privy to the truth, all called to share it.

Yet too often, we become divided on issues that derail us from being instruments of grace and love.

Healing comes in various ways – but rarely does it follow self-righteous judgement of others.

In a world filled with falsehood and the angry pointing of fingers – I invite you to prayerfully find ways that you can be an instrument of God’s love and grace – an anointed, blessed, holy instrument – in Christ’s name.

Long ago, good shepherds comforted their sheep with soothing and protective oil.  As followers of the “Good Shepherd” can’t we do the same for others today?

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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