You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Leviticus 19:2

We, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:12

We are to be holy –  as God is holy. Just what might that entail? One synonym for holy is divine – that’s what God is. It doesn’t seem like we can manage being divine. We can say, God you are holy, but we are not. We could feel inadequate – have we done enough? Are we good enough? Being holy, as God is, seems well beyond our abilities. The main theme of the book of Leviticus is holiness. The word in Hebrew translated as holy, can mean: “to be sanctified, consecrated, and dedicated or to be separated from the world and worldliness.” There are lots, and lots, of laws and rules governing how the people of Israel are to act, rules on sacrifices, rules on what to eat, rules on relationships with others. There were over 600 laws to follow – can anyone actually do that?  

I Peter 1:16 repeats this Leviticus verse:  “for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’"  A few verses before this, verse 13 reminds us all: “set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” God wants us to be holy, and provides the means for us to accomplish this. We aren’t dependent on our own activities or our own will, to be holy enough for God We have been provided, through God’s grace with some help. In Ephesians Paul commends his listeners as among the first to believe the gospel of Christ  

We are not to separate from the world to be holy; we are to be involved in this world that God created for us. The Ephesians didn’t stop after praising God and happily just go back to their homes. Rather they joined together in praising God and spreading this Good News to everyone. Otherwise the message would have stopped with them, and others would not have heard. Then, we would not have heard that there is hope, and grace, for us to follow God’s plan.    

Lord, when we lose hope, we also lose sight of your holiness and your call for us to be holy, just as you are. Help us be more like you, and to see clearly where we need to allow you to reshape us into your image. Help us live as you would have us, and help us as we walk together in your footsteps. Amen.  

Chris Gabel