by Pastor Clark Olson-Smith
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12: “For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness” v. 7
“Holier than thou” describes a self-righteous person. But it gets worse. Holiness seems to require keeping strictly separate from people and things considered impure or imperfect. This is dangerous
territory. Haven’t warped visions of “purity” justified a great deal of human shaming, hate, oppression, and even mass killing?
Nothing could be farther from God’s holiness.1 In fact, Jesus is holy exactly because of his uncompromising opposition to shaming, hate, oppression, and killing—especially in God’s name. And holier still is Jesus and his commitment unto death to wholeness and well-being for all.
Jesus refused to separate from the impure and imperfect but engaged deeply and relationally. His
commitment to wholeness for all—salvation!—was inseparable from the community he gathered—the church!
God called us in holiness. Today you are holy, and today is a holy day. Notice today God’s invitations:
+ to move closer to others instead of pulling away
+ to contribute to your and others’ well-being
+ to consider connections between your core commitments and Christian communities that have loved you
+ to regard yourself as holy—not in yourself, for yourself—but in relation to the body of Christ and for the sake of the world
God, this is the day you have made.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may rejoice and be glad in it.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may surrender to you my agenda and to-do list.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may receive today your love from the ones you have blessed to give it to me.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may share today your love with the ones you have blessed me to give it to.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I, all people, and all creation may be awake and ready for the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ, and the glorious end of days.
1 See the book Redeeming the Gospel by Lutheran theologian David A. Brondos.