Reading: Leviticus 19: 1-2
It is tough to be holy, yet God calls us to be just that. To be in the most intimate relationship possible, we must be as like God as we can be. Holiness is one characteristic of God that seems hard to fully grasp, nevermind live out each day of our lives. More often than not, we are not capable of being holy on our own. By ourselves we simply are not capable of being holy all the time. We can freely share our money and possessions with those we love, but we struggle with giving to the stranger. We can love those who love us, but it is another story with ‘him’ or with ‘her’ – those we do not like even slightly. On our own, our holiness only goes so far. We know that God’s holiness has no end and no boundaries. This is the holiness we are called to.
God knew from the beginning that we are not capable of always being holy. God began with the law, a set of guidelines on how to live in relationship with God and with each other. The Ten Commandments grew over time to be a huge list – but they were more do’s and don’ts than a way to be holy. In time, God sent Jesus to show humanity how to live a holy life. Jesus gave us the example of what God’s love and holiness look like lived out every day. But the example is not enough. To help us in our daily walk with Jesus, God sends us the Holy Spirit – the constant presence that helps us to be holy, the constant presence that helps us care for the needy, to love the stranger, to offer mercy and forgiveness to all who wrong us. With the power and presence of Holy Spirit, we begin to be holy as God is holy.
We cannot, however, simply rely on the Holy Spirit. We too must play a role. We too must put in the work because it is hard to be holy. We must commit to our own spiritual growth. We must spend time in prayer and in the Word each day. We must be in community to worship the Lord our God and to offer one another fellowship and encouragement. We must daily confess our sins, repent, and seek His renewing touch. It is through all of these means of grace that we can draw near to a God who is holy, becoming more like Him ourselves.