Monday, February 11, 2008

Observe a Holy Lent

To observe a "Holy Lent." It is one of the things we are advised to do by clergy, friends, etc. Most of us do not necessarily think of terms of "holy" or not. We might give up something for Lent; we might be more diligent in our spiritual practices during Lent. But most of us do not think about ourselves as being "holy." However, 1 Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." We are to be a "chosen," "royal," "holy" people, but do we live up to these expectations? We really tend to shy away from such high expectations, instead opting for being "pretty good" or "not too bad;" "holy" sounds entirely too unattainable, and we do not want to be set up for failure.

But the God in whose image we are created is "holy," and chooses us to be God's own people. Being "holy" simply means that we are set apart. That, of course, begs the question, what are we "set apart" from, and what are we "set apart" for?

We are set apart from the world. John 3:16 tells us that God loved "the world" and provided a way that "the world" might be saved. But "the world," that conglomeration of humanity, still prefers to go its own way, rather than God's way. Individually, we may live as "a holy people," but on a whole, we tend to stray. If this were not true, then the social pressures we would face would be to live generous lives or to be in service to others rather than seeing to our own desires. The advertisements on t.v. would not include "what happens here stays here," but may have more the flair of, "the choices you make effect others." If the world no longer pulled away from God, we would be witnessing stories of how the Kingdom of God has come on earth.

Therefore, since "the world" obviously, isn't getting it, individually, we are set apart to promote that message in a world that corporately rejects it. We must live set apart lives. We must promote the Kingdom of God, live lives in service to others, and spread the message of good news and hope that Jesus came to share.

So, I would admonish you to observe a Holy Lent. Live as people set apart by your faith and relationship with the living God. Go into the world and share the good news that God so loves...

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