Week 27: Holy

Week 27: Holy

Today’s Text: Leviticus 10-12

Key Verse: 11:44

“For I am the Lord your God; sanctify yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.”

In the midst of all the regulation and ritualistic instruction, chapter after chapter of “do this” and “don’t do that” there is this wonderful summation of why any of it matters.

God is holy, and we are called to be holy as well.

As they would find out, as we all must learn, this can’t be done by religious ritual alone. It is quite impossible to follow every law, recite every invocation, make every sacrifice, perfectly – and thus become holy like God.

On the other hand, if and when we devote ourselves to a reverential, honoring, loving relationship to God – and that is represented in our ritual and our religious expression – we begin to find meaning in the journey toward holiness.

Ultimately, God in His grace, provides a way for us to approach His holiness without fear of being burned up at the altar.

The New Testament speaks of this when we are invited to approach God’s throne with confidence – not because we are holy enough to do so – not because we “deserve” it – but because God in His grace offers that access as a gift through the sacrifice of Christ.

Holiness is something we too often equate with this or that ritual.

I think holiness, in its deepest and most profound expression, is about relationship – not ritual.

God – Holy, perfect, righteous, powerful – invites us – into relationship with Him.

Somehow, through that miraculous process, we become holy in God’s eyes.

We could never do that ourselves, no matter how many sacrifices we made.

The good news is – God has made the one, holy sacrifice – for all.

That, and that alone, is why and how we “approach His throne” with confidence and thankfulness.

That, and that alone, is how we can become holy.

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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