Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wholly Holy

  So for a while I've been contemplating holiness. Mostly, how the western church has turned it into a list of "do nots" and sin management. However, in my contemplation I've come to what I feel is a better understanding of what it means to be holy.

  The Father, Son, and Spirit were holy long before there was sin to be managed. Holiness is being set apart for a specific purpose. Something created for unique reasons. Well, I think it's rather obvious the Trinity's uniqueness and set apart for a purpose of being love and others centered. Creating our beautiful universe. There was no sin to be holy from. The real purpose in my thoughts here though is us. We are holy. We were made holy. You were born holy...set apart for a purpose. When you walk outside of your design your acting in unholiness not just the list of "do nots" people like to throw around. Holiness is being yourself. Being fully yourself in your God created uniqueness. Stop stressing about all the moral rules people like to jab with. Just be you.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Living right or righteous?

  First of all...Happy Mother's Day to any moms who may read this today. It's your day and you deserve it. I never fully comprehended Mother's day until I got married and had kids. Maggie totally deserves to be celebrated for birthing and nurturing children on top of dealing with me everyday!

  So I've been contemplating righteousness. One of my favorite scriptures growing up was 2 Cor. 5:21. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (ESV). The greatest tragedy of the first Adam was not his sin, but his loss of sight of where he stood in relationship to the Father. God's opinion hadn't changed toward them, but Adam and Eve were convinced it had. Sin didn't separate them, their momentary loss of sight caused them to think contrary thoughts of who they already were and contrary thoughts about their creator. They were already in His image and likeness but somehow they were convinced they HAD TO DO SOMETHING to be like him. Thus, in their own minds they concluded that they were different or separate from the creator and they wanted to be like they ate the fruit and we all know the rest of the story. Regardless of what you believe about the reality of the Adam and Eve story this is true...humanity created it's own separation not God. So, the LAST Adam, Jesus came to help us realize we were righteous. 

  Somehow over the course of time, righteousness has become moral standards. If we do XYZ then we are righteous. Righteousness is right standing with God or more easily right relationship or in good relationship. The morality comes with the righteousness not righteousness comes with morality. You see, the Trinity has always been righteous before there were ever "standards." Why? Because they've always been in good relationship with one another. We were created for right relationship and Jesus came to reveal their desire for relationship with us never stopped. We can't DO something to be "right" with God. Jesus did all of that work.

  I grew up in the mountains of Virginia. I can remember sitting in churches hearing old country preachers talk or more so yell about "living right." Meaning: Do all right the things and God will be pleased enough to leave the door of heaven cracked open for you in case you died on your way home today. Most of Christianity has become more and more about living right and less and less about knowing Jesus. Let me give an example. When Maggie and I got married there are things about me that annoyed her that she didn't know would annoy her until we were living in the same house, sleeping in the same bed, using the same bathroom, every day of our lives. So we would talk thru her annoyances and come to terms with fixing whatever the problem was. I didn't have to prove I could put the toilet seat down before she married me. We got married...I learned to put the seat down. This is what Jesus has done for us. He without our permission repaired the breach. He has welcomed us into His life before we crossed all our t's and dotted all our i's. We must help people realize that Jesus' work on the cross included us back into the righteous relationship of the Trinity...back into the relationship we were never meant to live without. Within this relationship the moral code is love. We do not get to determine what needs to be changed in others nor the timeline. All we can do is love. Love will burn off the dross and refine us down to our truest identity. Beloved sons and daughters...the righteousness of God IN HIM!