Week 30 Monday

Be Holy

Today’s scripture selection: Leviticus 19-21

Key verses: Leviticus 19:2

It may seem like a tall order, but there it is:

“Be holy, because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”

And the order was issued to not just the pious; not just the particularly religious, but the whole community – everyone.

The people of Israel were a special people indeed; called out, for a special purpose, by the one true God.  At times they did a good job of meeting that obligation.  At other times, they failed miserably.  Yet God never gave up on them.

And so it is for people of faith today.

We are called to be a “holy” people as well.  And that means we must be a people who diligently study the scriptures; pray fervently; follow as faithfully as we can – despite all of our faults and limitations.

It isn’t an easy calling.  It never has been.

But somehow God believes we are up to it.

I often hear people criticize the Church in one way or another.  And, believe me I know there is much worthy of criticism.  The Church is only as perfect as its members.  And that means it’s full of problems.

On the other hand, I also know that the Church has been a powerful force for compassion; truth; righteousness – all the things it is supposed to be – sometimes in the face of great opposition and almost impossible odds.

So there you have it.  This odd dichotomy – on the one hand we are a sinful, weak, people – easily corrupted.  On the other, we can act in ways that are so compassionate and loving; we can stand for the right so powerfully, that the worst evils of the world are soundly defeated.

We can be holy – in the best sense of the word.

How?  By letting God work through us; by praying “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Whenever people of faith do that honestly, humbly, and sincerely – God changes the world.

And we are made holy – for the entire world to see.

Prayer: Lord, make us holy instruments of your peace, wherever and whenever we are needed.  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 meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. 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, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. 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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