So we are leaving for Arkansas today. Can’t tell you how excited I am to get to hang out with my family. There’s a gathering of college ministries throughout the state, led by one visionary friend of mine named Seth.
College students are some of my favorite groups of people to talk to. I love them as audiences because life hasn’t taken the wind out of their sails yet, they still believe that they can make a difference. I think we can learn something from them.
Anyway, for my first talk I’ll be speaking about a different kind of holiness. That’s where this video comes in. Think about the life of Uzzah, the guy who God deep-fried in 1st Samuel 6 for touching the Ark of the Covenant. Then compare that story to the story in Luke 8 abut the woman with the bleeding disease. She was unclean, touching a Rabbi. She should be punished, but instead she was healed.
It seems like the nature of holiness was transformed in the ministry of Jesus. It no longer was something to be protected but shared. It wasn’t to be guarded from contamination. It was contagious.
I know a lot of Christians with the mindset of this video. If this place really existed, I don’t think they would have a lack of tenants. We have developed a kind of escapist philosophy of the world. We are going to just wait unit we get beamed up (which I don’t believe in).
But I also know a lot of Jesus followers who have recognized that they need to be among the kind of people that Jesus was with. But they eventually become just like them. They fail to live out the counter-cultural, subversive call of Jesus.
Jesus was offering a different kind of being God’s people. A different way of being holy.
This idea of a different kind of holiness seemed to dominate the ministry of Jesus. He spent his time notoriously with the unclean, but somehow when he left them, they weren’t that way anymore. Craig Blomberg points out that in every meal Jesus has with “sinners” there is a call to change. It’s Jesus believing in them to be more than they are.
Probably the best part of this weekend, is that it’s not just another pep-rally. It’s done in the context of ministry to the very people Jesus spent his time with. Like I said, they are wanting to practice a different kind of holiness. One that is not defined by what we are abstain from, but by what we are for.
Anything you’d like to add to this? What does being holy mean to you?