Friday April 22, 2011
Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ – 1 Peter 1:13-16
As we consider the events of Good Friday, the words are overwhelming: You shall be holy, for I am holy. As we consider the Beloved, crucified on the political cross as he stood with those on the margins, we hear: You shall be holy, for I am holy. As we consider the compassionate and table-turning life that led to the cross, we hear: You shall be holy, for I am holy. Are we striving to be holy? And is this journey what it means to be holy?
Preparation. Discipline. The words indicate a regimen of training, creating space for this type of holy within our lives. We’ve been on this Lenten journey of preparation and discipline, and here is our end goal: holiness. It is not a comfortable holiness; it is not a holiness of soft, clean hands and angelic robes. It is a holiness of rough-hewn, scarred hands and splintering wood. Imagine the hands of an auto mechanic: crevices still showing grease, dirt and the calluses of hard work. Their image is that of Good Friday holiness.
We are called to a holiness deeply connected to the world, deeply connected to physicality, deeply connected to risk. We are called to be holy as the one who called us is holy. That’s quite a challenge. As we move forward in anticipation of our Hope, let us not sanitize the difficult sort of holiness to which we are called. May we remember the challenge of these words: You shall be holy, for I am holy – as I am holy.
Holy God, Holy Beloved, Holy Spirit – we give you thanks for your holiness revealed on this Good Friday. Give us the strength and the courage to be this sort of holy, and give us the push we need to step into more and more of this call. Amen.
Tracy Nolan is a second-year MDiv student at McCormick. She is particularly fond of dogs, good friends, and biking into the countryside.