“Be holy, for I am holy!”
We hear the Almighty’s voice thunder through the room. His body leaning over the table, and with every word his powerful fist pounds the table. “BE. YE. HOLY.”
We shrink back in our seats, tears spring up in our eyes, and with a shaky voice, we whisper, “I’m trying.”
Sure, we know about Jesus and the grace his death provided, but that doesn’t “let us off the hook“. Grace isn’t some “free pass ticket to live however we want“, so we kneel a little bit longer, we plead a little bit louder, we scrub our heart a little bit more. With a fervent heart, we work a little bit harder, and we promise to obey a little bit better.
We feel good. We feel holy.
Except, for those days we fail, fall apart, and come crashing down. We pound our chests, we grovel, we proclaim, “I’m not worthy“. Then, after our due penance, we began again. We kneel a little bit longer, we plead a little bit louder, and we work a little bit harder to be holy. Never admitting our heart’s one question, “Why do you ask the impossible of us?”
Wait just one second. There’s something not right about this contradiction of a loving God. Maybe we’ve been playing the wrong movie reel all along. Maybe we’ve heard the tone of his voice all wrong. That’s when I began to read those words through the lens of Love. I stepped back from His righteous anger, and said, “Let me read your words the way you said them to me.” God is love, so I must find his love in his long list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. I don’t want to feel the pounding of his fists. I want to feel the pounding of his heart. That’s when I began to hear the Infinite speak with a lot less holy indignation, and a lot more Love. Let’s try this again.
He leans across the couch, and gently wraps his arm around our shoulders, and with voice that is soft says,
“Be holy. Know who you are, for you are formed in my likeness. Your DNA is my DNA. When you stare into the mirror, you stare into my eyes. Honor who you are, love who you are, because when you honor yourself, you honor me. When you love yourself, you love me. You are sacred, as I am sacred, so live a life that reflects who you truly are.
You see, I am holy, because I am fully aware of who I am, and because I understand my Infinite existence and likeness, I honor who I am. I separate myself from unloving things. I do not think, speak, or do anything that does not reflect my nature of Love.”
The lists weren’t just lists for obedience sake, and they were not created to prove how wretched our hearts are, but rather the Infinite was telling humanity who they are, how to honor themselves, and to live as He lives, but the truth of our likeness, our DNA, was kept hidden from man, so humanity awkwardly stumbled around in the darkness trying to resemble something holy.
Enter Jesus. He came to this earth fully aware of his identity in God. He was born without the veil over his eyes. He knew exactly who he was, and walked with upright confidence in his oneness with God. It’s in Jesus that God shows us who we are. It’s in this holy man that we can see how God views mankind. Jesus reveals who we were created to be. Then, it’s Jesus’s death that forever shattered the invisible barrier between us and God, thus flooding the hearts of humanity with Himself — forever revealing the truth of our DNA, and forever uniting us with God.
When we see ourselves for who we really are, when we get a glimpse of Love woven into the fabric of our existence, everything changes. When we see the Infinite staring at us in the mirror, when we see the Creator of all things in everyone we meet, we are forever changed, and the invisible barrier between us and God is shattered, and with confidence, we began to live a life of holy love.
Now, it’s up to us to trust the journey of understanding who we really are. We can walk with confidence as we become one with God, as Jesus was one with God.
Hear the voice of Love whisper,
“You are in me, and I am in you.
Know who you are, as I know who I am.
You are holy, as I am holy.”
… … …