The Bachelor and Thoughts of Holiness

200px-Thebachelor-logo_bach_logo_v3b_0Over the past few days I’ve really been thinking about holiness. Specifically the verse in Leviticus where it says, “Be holy for I am holy” Leviticus 19:2.

How did I come to ponder this question – you ask? Well the answer is “the Bachelor”.

Like I’m sure many of you on Monday nights, if your spouse is flipping through channels and lands on the Bachelor – you pull out a commentary on Leviticus and start reading right? Okay…so just me. But that’s what happened.

But as I read this commentary the author made a brilliant and profound argument for how our view of holiness should change. He started to note how holiness got integrated with power and fear, not through a careful reading of Leviticus but through our cultural baggage. Holiness is not simply not breaking certain taboos, it is a call to life with God. He writes this: Holiness is the work of creation, the giving of life…Holiness is a calling to be with God where God is and where God goes.

And this got me thinking, what does holiness look like? We often hear words like separation, like sacred, and sometimes-even connotations like reverent fear – or just plain fear and wrath. The question I’ve been thinking about is, while those themes are surely there in the Bible, what is the predominant picture of holiness in the Bible? What does it look like in real life? Is this untouchable, transcendent, otherness, that if crossed unintentionally or incorrectly leads to death (which is a view many hold of God)? Or is it something else? How do we best understand it?

After pondering this question for a while the really simple answer took hold of me in a new way. Clearly the answer is Jesus – right? I mean the answer is always Jesus…but what if we really radically accepted that? Holiness must theologically look, live, and act like Jesus. Holiness must enter into lives for transformation. Holiness must not entail this false duality of sacred and secular but instead, must infuse holiness into the world. Holiness must look like Jesus, if Jesus is God and God is holy.

Who knew something productive could actually come out of The Bachelor.

So I’m still really letting this sink in and see how it might outwork deeper into my life. But I think it’s a really valuable question to wrestle with: What does holiness look like?

And however you answer the question of what holiness looks like – I think it should look a lot like Jesus.

God Does Not Compartmentalize Our Lives, Why do We?

573750_74467086I’ve been reading a lot of Eugene Peterson lately. I find so much of his thinking fresh and convicting all at once. He writes this simple but incredibly challenging sentence:

God does not compartmentalize our lives into religious and secular. Why do we?

That’s challenging. God looks at the totality of our lives. He looks at how we live on Sundays, and the rest of the week. But this question isn’t just to be taken from consistency perspective – meaning that our Sunday lives live up to the rest of our lives. It should also be embraced from the sacred perspective. That what you do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday is just as sacred and holy as what you do on Sunday. There is no separation of sacred and secular, religious and not-religious.

So that means that how you live and work during the week is just as important as on Sundays. This is enlivening. Because on Monday you could be a person of justice, on Tuesday an example of the Kingdom, on Wednesday a picture of Jesus, on Thursday a catalyst for forgiveness, on Friday a model of love, and on Saturday a gift of grace. The point is that the totality of our lives matter, so there isn’t any wasted days.

So the question I think is this: are we living in light of this?

And if God does not compartmentalize our lives into religious and secular, why do we?