One of the best things to happen to me lately has been that I have made a new younger friend, a guy who’s in the second grade. “T” we’ll call him, doesn’t go to church very often at all. He seems a little interested in what I do. (I’ve explained that I’m a United Methodist pastor who works with a lot of churches. He asked if I was like ‘a principal with a lot of teachers’. I’d be curious to know what you think I should have said.) Anyway, we saw a museum display together, one in a Museum of Natural History, that talked about volcanos with all their fire and smoke. The exhibit is for younger people and made a big deal – at the end of each display – of saying “Holy Smokes!”
Over lunch “T” asked me what it meant to be holy. He knows about Jesus’ birth and has a sense of God so I told him that it meant being as special as Jesus. Then he said that he thought everyone was special.
So what does it mean to be holy? Did I get it right? We are about to enter a special season: Lent. I will probably hear the words “may you keep a holy Lent” this next [Ash] Wednesday. What does it mean to keep time as holy/special?
My buddy “T” is right: we are all special because we are all made in God’s image. Jesus came to restore that holiness, that specialness. And any time we can use to refocus on Jesus and what Jesus did to make us more special (more holy) is a holy time.
So I pray these things for you this Lent:
-may it be a special time for you to grow close(r) to Jesus;
-may it make you more aware of how special your neighbors are and how you and I should approach them as holy gifts;
-may it make you more aware of how special and holy you are to God.
If we do all that we will have kept a “holy Lent and be ready for an Eastertide of joy.” May it be so.
Sisters and Brothers, you are water-washed, Spirit-filled, bought with a price. You and I are holy.
Thanks be to God.
Have a holy Lent.
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Hello from Harvey – HOLY SMOKE
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