A Pastoral Word
Lenten Theme: Holy Moments, Holy Spaces, Holy People:
What does it mean to be holy? For years, we were told as people of faith that to be holy meant we were to be set apart, only dedicated to God. In turn, this way of being holy was how we practiced our faith. We separated ourselves from others. We kept our faith and our churches exclusive, not realizing we had missed the point of what it meant to be holy as the people of God.
Being holy was not meant to bring separation and division. It was always a call to encounter the divine in our midst, knowing that nothing could ever separate us from God. As people of God, being holy means that we belong to God at the most basic life changing level, which is that we are created in the image of God and loved more than we will ever know.
This reframing of being holy goes beyond merely an identity piece. It also has implications for how we live out our faith as the people of God as well. Now, we see this world not as something to be despised and hated but rather something our God created in all its beauty and wonder. Now, we see everyone as Beloved Children of God whom we are called to be in relationship with as our community. By reframing the meaning of being holy, now, we see our faith as the vessel through which we discover who we are and whose we are. We understand our call "to be holy because God is holy" as a way of being connected with the divine in our midst.
This way of thinking and being is nothing new. Since the beginning of time, we have been told of the various ways the people of God have connected with the divine in their midst. These encounters are what make up our story as people of faith. The narrative which we tell each Sunday is filled with the holy. It is complete with moments, spaces and people, through which the people of God encountered the divine presence in their midst. We are told that this connection with the holy in their midst reminded the people that God was still at work in the world, bringing healing and wholeness.
Yet this larger faith narrative is not only about the past. It is also about reclaiming how these holy encounters with the divine still continue to shape our faith today. Think about Moses and the burning bush, Jesus gathering with his disciples in the upper room, Phillip's encounter with the eunuch, all of these stories are about moments, spaces, and people through which "a brilliant awareness of the spirit which vivifies the world" is brought to us as the people of God now. (Diana Butler Bass, Grounded)
This Lent, I am inviting us to explore the holy moments, the holy spaces, and the holy people connected with our community of faith as Midway Christian Church. We will take a look at how these things still continue to shape the narrative of our mission as a church today. And in doing so, we will reclaim our place within the larger faith story which celebrates God's life-changing, life-giving actions within the lives of the holy people of God.