Wednesday Word: Holiness
“One cannot become holy all at once.”
The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection
The practice of holiness, like anything else worthwhile, takes dedication and perseverance. The journey to holiness should be focused on the journey, not the destination. If we only focus on the destination of being holy, then we might assume we are already there.
But we are not there. I'm not sure we are ever there. But we can continue on the journey. We can continue to make small steps toward holiness.
On All Saints' Sunday we will have a baptism. When that person is baptized into the household of God, he will not become holy, but it will be his first steps toward becoming holy. His journey toward holiness has just begun.
That journey will include intentional time with God. It will include learning about the faith. It will include making Sunday worship a priority. It will include times of study. It will include learning how to put “loving your neighbor” into practice. It will include so much more that I can't write down here. But maybe most importantly, it will include learning to not take his faith for granted but to put effort and time into becoming a disciple of Christ.
How are you doing on your own journey to holiness? Would you like to become more spiritually “fit?”
Like physical exercise where nobody begins by lifting 200 lbs or running 10 miles, nobody becomes holy all at once; we need to develop good habits and focus on the journey. Where to start? You could start by committing to read Compline from the BCP a few nights a week with a goal of reading it every night. You could commit to reading one chapter of the Gospels each day – at one chapter a day, starting tonight, you could have all of Matthew, Mark, and Luke read by December 29. You could commit to praying at each meal. The list is endless.
And, like with physical exercise, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes and the more you can increase the commitment.
We cannot become holy all at once; but what is stopping us from becoming holy a little bit at a time?