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Be Holy

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Be Holy

Among all the amazingly detailed rules and regulations of the book of Leviticus, we find this verse:

‘Be holy, for I, Yahweh your God, am holy’

(Leviticus 19:2)*.

You might respond by saying that you’re already holy: ‘ours is the only family in the street at Church each Sunday’, or ‘I don’t know anyone else who says grace before meals’, or ‘I think I’m doing quite well; I’m sure none of my friends remember to say their prayers every day’.

That would be fine if we were called to measure up to our neighbour.  Thankfully, we are not (imagine if the Saints of God had merely strived to measure up to their neighbours!).  We are called to be holy as God is holy, or – to fast forward to Matthew’s Gospel – perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect (cf Mt 5:48).

We need not compare ourselves with our neighbours; we must not settle for mediocrity in holiness.  We must set our eyes on God, on His incarnate Son, and strive always to live an authentically holy life.

But, you might object, for us fallen creatures, it is impossible to be holy as God is holy; impossible to be perfect as God is perfect.  True, how true!  But let’s take heart from a pivotal saying of the late Major Ian Thomas:

“You can’t—He never said you could—
He can, He always said He would. 
So let Him.”

 

 

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*I have heard this verse described as the very middle of the Pentateuch,
though looking at it now, I can’t work out how.  Certainly Leviticus is the
middle book, but the nineteenth chapter certainly isn’t the middle chapter. 
Maybe it’s one of those things that was clearer before we had chapter &
verse numbers!

 

 

 

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