Thursday, November 19, 2009

1 Peter 1 -- Be Holy

If that isn't a big challenge for the morning. Be holy, because I am holy. Many mornings I have trouble being awake much less holy. Ah, but if it is up to me I cannot find holiness, it is only through Jesus Christ that we find this holiness. It is helpful to look back a little in this section to see where the writer describes what it would mean to be holy. We are not left to simply guess we are given clues to what the holy life is all about.

The starting place is with Jesus. Without the sacrifice of Jesus, we do not stand a chance. From before the dawn of creation Jesus was selected for the work of making us holy. That is pure and presentable to God. If we are going to live into this holiness we must have a life characterized by a few things. Self control, the hope of grace in Jesus, non-conformity with evil desires, and to follow our leader. The section of Peter where this is outlined begins with some very important words, prepare your minds for action.

So often in our faith journey we sit around and pontificate about the great meanings of who God is and who we "ought" to be. People spend their entire course on this earth contemplating these lofty things and never find them. Why? The have prepared their minds, but not for action. There is a perfect balance to be found between knowing and doing. When our primary mode of operation is knowing God, we often know about God, but do not know God. When our primary mode of operation is to always be doing, our faith can lose its foundation. There must be a middle, and there is.

This middle is not easy. We must find time to think, ponder and study the things of God, while at the same time allowing the study and thinking to produce in us action and fruit. The holiness Peter refers to is totally about the work of Jesus Christ making us holy. It is also totally about being people who become like Jesus in our holiness though being about the things Jesus was about. Confused yet?

Being holy, is not about the knowledge of God, it is about knowing God, and doing what it is that God is about in our world. Are we being holy?

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