Yesterday's text was from Isaiah 6:1-8.
Our study continues in Embracing the Mysterious God with the holiness of God.
We get pretty comfortable with the idea that God listens to us, participates with us, hangs out with us. As Kirk pointed out in his message, this is only one side of God. The other side is characterized by God's transcendence, His infinity, His indescribable hugeness, His beyond-our-understanding. Makes me think about Jesus being fully God and fully human. Sometimes I see people who are definitely more at ease with the divinity or humanity but they struggle to put it together. Or, the struggle between the physical (body) and spiritual (soul). We seem to be, not just a stiff necked people, but also pretty black and white in our thinking.
To me, there are 3 parts here. There is the topic of God's holiness, the state of out hearts, and then the response of our hearts.
The passage started with a king who thought he was equal to God, but Isaiah sees God as king in his description. The king was not humbled before God, but Isaiah was devastated by his unworthiness before a holy God.
But what is "holy?" Do we have any modern sense of holiness? Guess "holy" was always associated with awe to me, not necessarily perfection, but that quiet sense of awe. Have felt it in old churches when I marvel at the worshippers who have been there before me, when I stop singing to listen to my church family praising God around me, when I walk into a room incensed for God because it reminds me that God is present, in the birth of a child when the intense pain and focused urgency of the mother releases the child, in the death of a patient who slips quietly away. These are sacred moments. But are they holy? In one sense. But holiness is even more...
Holiness is being set apart. God is not like us. He is distinct different. He is wholly another. Holiness it being set apart, not part of the whole, but wholly different. Are we?
As believers we are called to be set apart, to be in the world but not of it, to be salt and light. I wonder sometimes how I am seen. Am I different in my perspectives and behavior in my marriage, my job, my family, my neighborhood? Do I look the same as the culture around me, or do I set myself apart for God? One very practical example Kirk brought to the conversation was marriage. My husband is holy...set apart...for me and I for him. Of course this led to elbowing and snickers. But it certainly puts marriage in a different context, doesn't it?
But, after we examine our hearts and find how deplorable we are without help from God, without the Sacrifice on the altar, what happens?
God wants to send us on a mission!
Ugh, how does it always come to this? Why does it always come back to this, I whined in my heart during the message Sunday. Why can't we be set apart, forgiven for the deceit in our thoughts and actions, for the purpose of being good people? Why does God always seem to want to send us? Want us to speak for Him? Want us to be vulnerable, weak, stupid, crazy, for Him? I don't know what all this is about, and I dread thinking about it. I want my comfortable, central air, dishwasher, decent cars, Farkle on FB, cellphone to text, just out of arms reach but still available life. What does HE want? All of us. All of me...