Tag Archives: holy

Who Is It For?

Who can come?
Who is it for?
Who can be here?
Who is able to stay?

This is your Temple Lord,
your holy place.
Who is welcome?
Is it for me?
What do I need to do?
What are you asking
of those who want to be with you?

You need obedience,
a willingness
to do what you ask,
what you need,
to follow your ways.
This place,
here in your holiness,
is for truth,
not hearsay,
conjecture,
muck-raking,
or downright lies.
It is a place
to build people up,
not knock them down;
to be fair
and honest,
not economical
with the truth.

You demand respect,
not for yourself,
but for those we live amongst,
who help us,
provide for us,
those we see
and those we don’t.

You need us to keep our promises,
better to say nothing
than to promise
and not deliver.
You are not looking for empty words,
meaningless platitudes,
commitments
that come to nothing.
Words cost,
and we need to be willing
to pay the price
of what we say we will do.
Cheap options
are not your way,
but the way of sacrifice,
inconvenience
and honour.

These things are holy Lord,
the things you ask
of those
who want to be with you,
to live your ways,
to be in your presence,
day by day.

Psalm 15 (CEV)

(A psalm by David.)

Who May Worship the Lord?

15 Who may stay in God’s temple
    or live on the holy mountain
    of the Lord?

Only those who obey God
    and do as they should.
They speak the truth
    and don’t spread gossip;
    they treat others fairly
    and don’t say cruel things.

They hate worthless people,
    but show respect for all
    who worship the Lord.
And they keep their promises,
    no matter what the cost.
They lend their money
    without charging interest,
    and they don’t take bribes
    to hurt the innocent.

Those who do these things
    will always stand firm.

They Who Do Justice

Holy Living – Living Wholly

“Holy” is one of those words that has bad connotations – “holier than thou”, or “holy Joe”.  It’s inference can be someone who stands aloof or sets them self apart as better than.

But what holy really means is:

dedicated or devoted to the service of God

and the command remains:

‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

We are called to be holy – because God says so, and because he is holy.  And at the end of the day it is living a holy life that makes us whole.

So how do we go about living a holy life?

Well, Leviticus goes on to guide us:

  • Be honest and just
  • Don’t show favouritism
  • Don’t spread lies
  • Speak up for those who need it
  • Don’t bear a grudge
  • Don’t take revenge
  • Love your neighbour

This is the way God calls us to.  He is the Lord, he knows the best way to live – it’s the way he is.  That is our calling and our challenge.  To live in the world as good would, as he asks us.

How are we doing?

Lord

You call me to live holy,

to be just and honest,

to not spread lies,

or seek revenge,

to speak up for those who have no voice,

and to love…

Help me to live

in a way that shows your holiness,

and points others to you.

And when I get it wrong,

thank you that there is forgiveness,

and the chance to start again

Who me?

There are some places that just feel special.  You go there and you can sense something.  I would call it the awe of God.  If I tell you two of those places for me, you have to promise not to spoil them!  For me there is nowhere like Tarn Hows, in the Lake District, a place that just exudes peace and just something that makes you always come away feeling better.  The other place is Sacre Coeur in Paris.  I defy anyone to go there and not be overcome by the holy presence of God.

So this is something like the experience for Isaiah.  He finds himself overcome  by the presence of God.  He is overcome by a sense of God’s holiness – and then his own unholiness.  Isaiah realises that as God is holy, he himself is doomed, because, “every word that passes my lips is sinful, and I live among a people whose every word is sinful.”  He feels there is no hope for him.

But God has other ideas.  Aware of who and what Isaiah is, God touches his lips, takes his guilt and forgives his sins.  What a joy and a relief for Isaiah.  But that is not where it ends.  God has a task to be done.  “Whom shall I send?” God asks.  And Isaiah answers, “I will go, send me”.  I wonder if Isaiah realised what he was saying?!  But he is caught up in response to the holy God, who has touched his life.

God knows us through and through.  He is aware of our faults and failings, but he reaches out to us too.  Touches us, takes away our guilt, and forgives our sins.  As we stand in awe in his presence, aware of his holiness, he calls to us.  “Whom shall I send?  Who will be our messenger?”  What today is our reply?