By Pastor Julian Harris
Joy accompanies the Anointing of God at Pentecost. Nothing makes us stronger than the Anointing with the Oil of Gladness,...for the joy of the LORD is your strength. (Neh 8:10)...A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones. (Prov 17:22).
You cannot be a Christian or a Christian leader without good old-fashioned joy. Without joy you will be an emaciated Christian in a Church congregation that experiences nothing but perpetual defeat. Joylessness is not a sign of reverence and spirituality but a tombstone that signifies something dead and buried.
Jesus Christ is alive. Christianity is alive where Jesus is alive. Christianity becomes a movement when Jesus is consigned to history or to doctrine. And movements always have monuments, which is another name for a memory, a memorial. Jesus saw the Church become like this in His day: He called it a whited sepulcher—stone, cold, joyless, demanding and dead:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous. (Matt 23:27-29)
The Anointing of the Holy Spirit can leave us. God never leaves until we push Him out the house. And He is ready and willing to return when invited:
He never strays far from the door: Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20)
Listen to King David after the Prophet Nathan and The Holy Spirit convicted him of sin:
Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Thy sight, so that Thou art justified in Thy sentence and blameless in Thy judgment...Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
(Psalms 51:4, 10-12)
Sin drives the presence of God from us. Confession and repentance opens the door and invites The Lord of Glory to enter:
I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. For I will not contend for ever, nor will I always be angry; for from Me proceeds the Spirit, and I have made the breath of life. (Is 57:15-16)
Today is Pentecost: The Declaration of God’s Church that the way is still open for us to recover that Comforting Presence and Sweet Anointing of the Holy Spirit. We have but to ask, to invite Jesus to come into our hearts as He comes into our bodies and souls at Holy Communion.
Remember Heaven is waiting to hear from us. And Our Father Who Art In Heaven wills to pour out blessings upon us beyond our capacity to describe them:
Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house; and thereby put Me to the test, says the LORD of Hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing. (Mal 3:10)
But God cannot bless a life of willful sin. And the Anointing of the Holy Spirit cannot confirm a life of sin nor can He dwell in a brothel:
Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Cor 6:18-20)
Pray for each of us to experience a fresh Anointing of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. May His presence be reflected in our unity with Jesus Christ, the Saints and one another. May our faces reveal the joy of the indwelling of God. May our Anointing be so powerful as to win many souls for Christ, for that is the goal of our Catholic Faith—the salvation of souls. May The Holy Spirit shower us with seven-fold blessings reserved for the obedient, the loyal, the Anointed of God, and crown them with joy and peace that the world does not know and cannot give.