By Kelly Carr
A Word with New Meaning
As one who grew up going to church, holy was a word I heard often. There was talk of the Holy Spirit—a mysterious part of God—that confused my young mind. We sang hymns about holiness. In our pews we had copies of The Holy Bible.
I had a high school English teacher who challenged all of us to go deeper into the books we read for class. Yes, we could read a story and skim over the top of the water. But she prodded us to dive in, swim around in a text, and discover new depth.
That’s what I needed to do for my faith and for the concept of holiness. Slowly, as I matured, I began to grasp a more nuanced meaning to the word holy. I stopped letting it float over my head as another church word and began to grapple with what it means and why it’s a descriptor of God and why it’s a calling for us.
Instead of writing further about what I learned, I ask you to go read “Heart of Holiness” in this issue. Rick Ezell does a fantastic job of digging into holiness and confronting our perception of God with the truth of who he really is.
Be Holy in All You Do
“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15, 16). Peter quoted from Leviticus 11, reiterating a truth God had established long ago for his people. Our job is the same as God stated centuries ago—be holy.
That sounds impossible. If God is holy, and we are terribly sinful people, how can we ever attain a quality so far above us? Eva Juliuson’s title in this issue says it all: “Made Holy by Grace.” Yes, we owe our holiness to Jesus.
How beautiful it is to realize: God commands holiness, yet when humanity couldn’t live up to it on our own, he provided holiness for us through Jesus. Indeed, that is grace.
Does It Make a Difference?
So we step into this annual season of remembrance, where we focus on the pinnacle of Jesus’ life—his death and resurrection. What does Holy Week mean to you? Does it make a difference in your life?
I was fascinated to read the timeline of Jesus’ last week that Bill Patterson created for our magazine. Remembering all that Jesus did and said in his final days before his sacrifice moved my heart in a new way. Jesus finished his life in holy perfection, just as he had lived for 33 years. He spoke to his closest friends, imparting important lessons before he left in their shaking hands the commission to spread his good news. He received praise on Palm Sunday and curses on Good Friday. He completed his mission to redeem our souls and offer us eternal holiness.
I hope you will dive deeply into this Holy Week. Allow the magnitude of who Jesus is and what he did to wash over your mind and soak your soul. Drench yourself in his holiness and emerge renewed.