Week 27 Monday

Holiness: A Serious Business

Today’s scripture selection: Leviticus 10-12

Key verses: Leviticus 10:1-3

One thing that the book of Leviticus makes very clear is that God’s holiness is not to be taken lightly. It is very serious business indeed.

A great example of this is the record of how Aaron’s sons were killed because they had offered “strange fire” before the Lord. In other words, they had not followed the ritual instruction they had been given. It’s not clear what offering this “strange fire” meant. But what is clear – is that there were serious consequences indeed for taking matters into their own hands.

That’s not an image of God that I am very comfortable pondering.

But maybe that is as it should be.

In this day and age of “contemporary” worship and “seeker-friendly” services, I sometimes worry if we have forgotten to step softly and reverently when approaching the holy.

I’m not one to say that only pipe organs and “high church” piety will do.

But I do think it is wise counsel to remember that the people of God should approach God carefully.

It doesn’t mean we must fear Him or feel we can’t be honest with Him or shy away from approaching Him honestly and vulnerably.

It simply means that we should have a healthy respect for the one we sometimes rather flippantly address as the Almighty.

When some proclaim “God is awesome!” I say “Amen!”

I just think it’s good to remember that God is not “awesome” like some potato chips are awesome.

God is the all powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, ruler of the universe.

No wonder Moses took off his shoes when standing – better yet, kneeling, on holy ground.

Prayer: Almighty, Holy God, even as I approach you in loving trust – let me approach you in reverent awe. AMEN.

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 for “expectant hope.” 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, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. 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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