“They shall keep my name holy” Isaiah 29:23
Many times the place, outside of the context of church, where I hear God’s name the most is when I am playing basketball at a rec. center. The fellas on the court are not keeping God’s name holy- if
you know what I mean. Jesus Christ is used as a swear word and God is told to damn something. Why would we ever talk this way about our God who created us in love, saves us in love and sanctifies us into the fullness of love?
As I think about the word holy and how we are supposed to keep God’s name holy, there are some ideas percolating in my brain. Holy means “other”. We know the scripture, “As high as the heavens are above the earth so are my ways are above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.” God’s ways can often be quite other/different than our own.
I am also thinking of holy as sacred, something we hold in the greatest of reverence and that if we follow its leading we will have the love, life and happiness we are looking for.
As I reflect on the 100’Friday of the First Week of Advent Dec. 2, 2005s of reflections I have written in the past 6 years during the Holy Seasons of Advent and Lent, the heart of what I write is a plea to come back to God. Come back to God who is
true life, love, peace, forgiveness, joy etc. Come back to God who is Holy/other.
A dangerous thing we do to our own detriment is hold the culture as holy. We hold culture in the greatest of reverence and that if we follow its leading we will have the love, life and happiness we
are looking for. And what is the culture telling us as we prepare for Christmas? Buy things and then give them to each other and then we will be happy. The problem is that this has never worked. So why do we go crazy with all the buying?
Soon Jesus comes to us in a manger. He asks us to keep Himself and God holy. His way is ‘other” than the empty materialistic show of the culture. Jesus gives love, life and happiness forever.
Jesus says, “Christmas is not about presents but about my holy presence in all your doings.”
Two final questions that the Holy Spirit just gave me:
If you put as much time into hearing and seeing Jesus during Advent and Christmas as you work on buying presents, how would you be different?
If you had to make a choice between buying presents and seeking his holy presence this season, what would you choose?
You and I are the reason for His existence,