“For our sakes God made him who did not know sin, to be sin, so that in him we might become the very holiness of God.” 2 Cor 21.
This passage really hit to the core this morning. I am called to be no longer me, but Christ living in me. That means that I am called to holiness in this life. How much of my daily activities includes holiness? There is a part of me that thinks – that happens in the afterlife, but I know that it starts in this life. It is perfected in the next.
How does one live this life in this world? I think it means dying to self. I think it means getting out of my comfort zone and serving God’s people. I think this can happen by being polite to and compassionate with the person at work who is making one’s day difficult. I think it means treating people with dignity and respect. I think it also means feeding the hungry, visiting those in prison, and clothing those with little possessions. I think the more we ask the Holy Spirit to show us how to live more Christian lives, the more we will see the path to holiness.
I know that it also comes through silent prayer. It comes in looking for God in the depths of our being. This path is even harder than the love of neighbor part. God wants to show us where our behaviors are impacted by our brokenness. He wants to heal us and to restore us to His image. He can only do it if we spend time with Him each day trying to listen, even when it doesn’t feel effective. The problem is, most of us do not want to see what is imperfect or broken inside. It doesn’t matter that He is faithful, loving, and gentle. It doesn’t matter that He sees us as we are, and He loves us. We still want to run from perfection, because we are comfortable in our imperfect.
For me, this makes so little sense. I find myself running from truth frequently. He always finds a way to slow me down, and let me see. Still, I would love to rip the band-aid off, and go for it all at one time. It takes patience and gentleness with oneself. We can still be good people, even though we are still sinners. However, we will be better Christians if we allow God to heal us. We will bring more people to Christ if we can be more holy ourselves.
This reminds me of a news article I once read. A journalist asked then President Bush what he saw when he met the Pope. The President responded, I saw God in his eyes. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could see Him within us? I know that the reflection of God in one’s eyes comes with finding Him in the depth of ourselves. I have seen it in the lives of more than one contemplative. I look forward to the day when I, too, can reflect His presence to the world more fully than I do today. I pray each of you is either on this journey or encouraged to enter into this journey today.