You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you. Galatians 4:10-11 (NIV).
I’m going to whine a little: whenever I hear people describe one day or one place as “holy,” I get perturbed. “The holy month of Ramadan; the holy city of Jerusalem; the holy day of Christmas; the holy items from the Temple.” Irked; perturbed; annoyed. Some places or times are sacred to us; weddings, funerals, Arlington National Cemetery, the Alamo; you get the drift. But things aren’t holy unless God makes them so. There is nothing that you, me, the Pope, Robert Jeffries, the president of your synod, or an Imam in Arabia can do to make something holy. Only God can make things holy. If we place rules around certain days, months, seasons, and years, then we need to be careful. When we try, we risk making them into idols, into things that become more important than our faith in God.
That being said, Jesus also does command us to “be holy.” Through Peter, He doesn’t tell us, “give it a good try.” He says, “be”. He tells us to do this, not just to talk about it, or philosophize about it. Part of doing that means that we treat special things with special care. For many people, Easter and Christmas are special occasions. Preparations for communion are regarded as special. There are certain activities that aren’t allowed (or at least frowned upon) in churches, or sanctuaries. Ever heard of “wearing your Sunday best?” The list goes on and on. Jesus tells us to be holy, and that means Him and His work with reverence and respect.
Knowing that, EVERYTHING we think, say, and do should be holy because Jesus told us to be holy. He didn’t say, “your words must be holy but those things you do on the internet? Nah. Do what you want there.” His command for us to is simply “be holy.” Meaning it’s a part of our existence. It’s part of our being.
And, since we know that we’re fully sinful and can only be made righteous – made holy – by Jesus making us so, then what Scripture is actually saying is “be holy by putting your faith in Me.” Be holy but realize the only way we can do it is by taking all our sin, all our junk, all our failings to Him and Him alone.
After that, if Jesus wants to make Ramadan, Jerusalem, Christmas, or the communion items holy, then all praise to Him for that. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. And that’s truth, not whining.
For further reading: Romans 14:5, Colossians 2:16, 1 Thessalonians 3:5, 1 Peter 1:16, Galatians 4:12
Father, I can do nothing apart from Your Son. Forgive my sins. Clean me up and set me back on Your path.
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