Scripture: Leviticus 19:1-4
Key verse: (2) Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
Reflection: When you think about a “holy person”, I wonder what comes to mind. Maybe it’s an overly pious person who uses obedience to God as a measuring stick. Maybe it’s someone who spends a lot of time at church (or they did when it was possible). Maybe it’s someone who spends a lot of time reading scripture or talking to others about God. There are many images that might come to mind. Over the years, our understanding of holiness has shifted. It has become images of halos and narrow-mindedness that leaves behind the idea that God might still be actively working in the world. The holiness that God invites us into is joining with God in the work of loving all of God’s creation, both people and the earth, and pursuing justice for all.
“You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” In this deeply theological sentence, God invites us to participate in the work of God. All of the verses that follow offer some suggestions on what that might look like: leaving produce for the poor to glean, paying wages on time, speaking honestly. God offers us, not just the label of holy people, but asks us to engage in the call of love and justice in the world. God invites us to become co-creators with God in pursuit of the kingdom.
I wonder what that might look like for you. What would it mean to incorporate God’s vision for the world into your life? How might you respond to God’s invitation into holy living? In changing our understanding of holy, we can step into the people God created us to be, working with God in radical love and justice for all.
Prayer: Holy God, you created the world and called it good. You invited us to join in your holy work, loving our neighbors and following your call. Remind us of this, God. Pull us in and invite us to participate in your work in the world. Amen.
Author: Savannah Demuynck
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].