In the St. Jude’s Church series on the 39 Articles we come this Sunday to Article 23 – Clergy don’t self-anoint. It is an opportunity to talk about the historic vision of the Church as the gathering of the Body of Christ, and the role of clergy to call Christ’s Bride to worship and holiness of life. And, having worshipped through Word and Sacrament, for the Church to be propelled back into the world for the extension of God’s Kingdom. Priests pray, teach, offer the Sacraments, preach, declare God’s pardon, bless and console. In short, a priest is to point the people to the Priest: the Great High Priest, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-5:4, 10:11-12).
I have the privilege of preaching the next three Sundays. We will move on from the role of clergy to consider the corporate spiritual practices of Baptism and Holy Communion.