Here's a DVO devotion from last year that seeks to explain the meaning of the words "holy" and "sacred" and I think does it rather well.
March 3, 2016
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace... 2 Tim 1:9 (NIV)
Vocation - Part 3
Holy means "sacred and set apart."
Isa 63 says, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory..."
God is holy.
1 Pet 1:15 says, "Now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy."
God wants us to be holy
1 Pet 1:2 "God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ."
God has made us holy.
To "sanctify" is the process of being made Holy. Which is what Jesus has done for us - sanctified us. The second part of 2 Tim 1:9 says (MSG), "We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it."
Do we behave holy to be holy? Or are we made holy? Is it 'works based'? Or a work of grace?
There's a tension between living holy and being made holy...
God formed Adam out of dust. Picture His hands scooping up dirt, shaping it, carving out arms and legs, then caressing it until a face formed. Adam remained a beautiful pile of dust until one thing happened: God breathed into him.
The moment that the breath of God connected with this shaped dirt, life ignited within Adam, and he BECAME. It is the breath of God that manifests His holiness to earth. These dust buckets we call bodies are filled with the Holiness and sanctity of the Divine, and it keeps us alive. When we die, the breath leaves our bodies, and they return once again to the dust.
We have more than a connection with God - His breath fills us all, whether we know it or not. But for some, we understand that we have this treasure in "jars of clay"... we understand that we are the temple in which God dwells. (1 Cor 3:16-17). Through Jesus, the ability to become aware of what we have within us is attainable. Through His life, death and resurrection, our blindness is turned to sight, and we are free from the disconnect of the knowledge of the Holy. We can now peer underneath the physicality of life into the realm of the spirit, the divine, the supernatural... God.
This is holy living. Knowing that we are connected to God - acknowledging that He sustains us and holds us together... and in turn, this connects us with one another. It is a sacred and holy knowing. A revelation that is sacred for eternity.
And this awareness, given by grace and received by faith, prompts us to respond with our lives... what do we do with this knowledge? What do you do when you were once blind but can now see?
Well, any self-respecting Film Studies teacher simply has to go and see those films that are being acclaimed by the critics and are up for awards, if only to better inform his/her students and perhaps encourage them to see the film in question. So, off I went to see what all the fuss was about.
"The King's Speech" is full of very British wry, self-deprecating humour, affectionate digs at the royal family and tremendous performances. I never got the sense that Colin Firth was playing his character's handicap to the gallery, nor was he simply baiting the Academy Awards voters with yet another Oscar-friendly performance involving physical handicap. In fact, his handicap was much more an emotional one. I felt there was a real emotional honesty and depth to his portrayal (and the swearing is hilarious!). Both Helena Bonham-Carter and Geoffrey Rush are worthy of awards too. I loved B-C's knowing humour and intelligence as Bertie's wife (who for people of my generati…
I sent the below message to my teaching colleagues in school the evening, braced as we are for the arrival of “those-who-shall-not-be-named” (i.e. OFSTED, national school inspectors) sometime between now and Easter. For those of you who live outside of Britain their job is to monitor and ensure high standards in all schools… the problem is that they keep moving the goalposts. Anyway, enough of that. Here’s what I said:I think that the attached video teaching is for us right now, to help us not lose sight of who we are and why we are here in a Catholic school. It's too late for the weekend just gone, but try to take on board it's message of "wasting time for God" over the coming weeks, despite the pressures that we are all under.
Even if you are not a believer yourself, give yourself some time alone with your thoughts, if you can… even just a few minutes. The video teaching is by one of my favourite bands, Tenth Avenue North, and it accompanies a song of theirs that h…
During the month of March I attended our General Chapter in Rome (nearly four weeks long) and it was a wonderfully positive, fraternal, hope-filled experience. Like with many congregations, our worldwide profile is shifting towards a "southern hemisphere" emphasis, but that does not mean there isn't life left in the north. Quite the opposite, in fact. "It's life, Jim, but not as we know it!!" We are responding to Pope Francis' call to "go to the peripheries" seeking ways to serve the poorest, most disadvantaged, most vulnerable young people, looking to respond to the needs of today's youth in the way that our Founders did 200 years ago (yes, we've got anniversary celebrations coming up).
Recently-founded missions in war-torn South Sudan (a community + school - Ugandan Brothers), Mexico (Canadian Brothers, a French Brother for 6 months every year and a lay woman living in community together and serving the poor together), a new educati…