Posts Tagged ‘Holiness’
“Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed His glory; and his disciples believed him.” (John 2:11)
“For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” (Isaiah 62:5)
Chewing on some serious bread here: “For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” (Isaiah 62:5). I realize the metaphor extends to the primacy of the community, the universal church and all who are called into that great assembly, although I cannot help but consider how this plays out in my personal commitment to the Bridegroom (Christ Jesus) and as a part of “the Bride” (Church) myself. How consecrated (solemn dedication) am I? What does my dedication look like in my daily life? I think about how I look with love, appreciation, adoration, and delight over my wife, Laurie, and think about how God looks over His Bride, the Church… and me. Yes. Praise Him. Amen.
Prayer for the 2nd Sunday following the Feast of Epipany
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your word and sacraments,, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reign one God, now and for ever. Amen
Miscellaneous Thoughts from 20JAN2013
I sat in on Bob G’s class today in church and still cannot get the ideas of holiness, sanctification, spiritual formation, and any other euphemism that describes what it means to become Christ-like out of my head… I just keep on thinking about this and take a moment to put down some of my ideas here.
Jesus, as the living personification of God (John 14:7-9), is our model for what it means to “imitate God” (Ephesians 5:1-2) and “Be holy as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:13-16). The Bible teaches us that our attitude or minds should be like Christ; “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5-7).
- Begin with an attitude of complete humility
- Maintain a mindset of openness
- Choose your will to be completely surrendered
- Determine that you will be unconditionally obedient
I believe that Scripture teaches us the Christian journey will not begin in earnest without this process (listed above) and attitude of mind/heart being implemented first (see John 12:24-26, Luke 14:25-28, Mark 9:35). In my opinion, the most distinctive “outworking” of this selfless and surrendered humility is found in the apostle’s definition of love (1 Corinthians 13).
13 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.
More to come.
We are supposed to be the light of the world. We are supposed to be a light to ourselves and to others. That may well be what accounts for the fact that the world is in darkness! What then is meant by the light of Christ in our lives? What is “holiness”? What is divine sonship? Are we really seriously supposed to be saints? Can a man even desire such a thing without making a complete fool of himself in the eyes of everyone else…? To tell the truth, many lay people and even a good many religious do not believe, in practice, that sanctity is possible for them. Is this just plain common sense? Is it perhaps humility? Or is it defection, defeatism, and despair?
If we are called by God to holiness of life, and if holiness is beyond our natural power to achieve (which it certainly is) then it follows that God himself must give us the light, the strength, and the courage to fulfill the task.
From Life and Holiness by Thomas Merton
A Prayer for us…
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Grant us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us to safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose: through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Chronological Reading : Leviticus 17-25
This entire month of February has been challenging reading. My Bible reading plan has carried me through Exodus and Leviticus over the last four weeks. No, this isn’t the first time I’ve read these books/accounts, but I am really wrestling with application. I don’t think that every “jot and tittle” of the Levitical code is applicable for us today, but I am really having a difficult time with how to determine what is applied today and what is not. Probably the most disconcerting aspect of this “wrestling match” is the nagging question of whom or what arbitrates the decrees and regulations set forth by God.
I enjoy the study of Biblical interpretation and have been challenged time and again in the way I process Scripture. Most recently, I have been challenged to rethink my processes and test my hermeneutics again. Late summer I read Scot McKnight’s Blue Parakeet (Click here for that review). In that book, Scot challenged our interpretation skills with the premise that “we pick and choose” what we obey and/or agree is applicable for today. I don’t want to go into detail about all the implications and discussion that might ensue from that premise, but recommend the book very highly. At any rate, my thinking and my interpretation of Scripture has been challenged…and that’s where I’m at for now. What does all this mean? Well, like I said, I’ve been reading for the past month through Exodus and Leviticus… Exodus poses some problems for me, but not to the degree that I am unable to deal with them. Leviticus, on the other hand, is a whole other ballgame.
Let me start with this premise; I don’t think we are subject to every decree and regulation today. On the other hand, I think because some of the commands have been superseded, we have a tendency to toss much out that we might still be accountable to. I know my statement might seem convoluted, but I’m trying to be unbiased and open in my “wrestling” so I might better understand. So, here’s some of what I’ve been processing…Scriptures follow: Read the rest of this entry »