Holiness

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“Committed deeply to doing what is right we live in Christ.”

The citizens of our country are being lied to about the election results and it appears the lies are being told in order to collect money. What a sad state of affairs. In order to collect as much money as possible these accusations of fraud look like they will continue until the outgoing president is forced to concede. Unfortunately, the lies may continue for years if these lies prove profitable, even after the new president is inaugurated.

The damage to our democracy will be difficult to overcome as will the destructive power of the polarization of our citizens. Due to the behavior of a president who found dividing people useful, the divisions that existed as an undercurrent have become mainstream. Racism, classism, and religious hypocrisy are unmasked. What does all this have to do with holiness? Holiness is living our lives in the realm of God — now. All of the destructive power at work in our country reveals the need for holy people.

We have a choice between a way of life and a way of death. This choice is something we face each and every day. When we choose life we choose holiness. When we choose to be partners with God in creating something awesome and beautiful — the Beloved Community of God — we find not only life but fulfillment and joy. The Beloved Community cannot be built on lies.

Holiness or the lack of holiness has little to do with being pious or going to church. It is not concerned with dancing, drinking, use of language, kinds of music, styles of dress, movies, TV, the way we decorate our bodies, eating, smoking, sex, gambling, or having fun. It has little to do with what some Church People think of as “morality.” What maters to God is a caring and compassionate love of yourself and others, coupled with a love of God and all things created by and loved by God.

Christians become holy by being called out of the world and the ways of the world. We become ekklesia. When something is holy, it is set aside for God and belongs to God. By our baptisms we are set aside for God’s purposes. We are not set aside to be idle, to be safe, to be silent observers. We are not called to a private, one-on-one with God sort of religious practice. We are set aside for the work God is doing. We are not withdrawn, but holy in the midst of the world. This is what it means to be salt, light, and yeast. It is time for all Christians to live out their baptismal call, and to get involved in God’s work here on this earth.

A holy life is exciting and never boring because the challenges of a partnership with God are worthy challenges and call us out of our comfort zones. There are challenges right now, staring us in the face, right here in front of us. We cannot remain silent when lies are further destroying the unity of our country, and stirring up negative feelings toward the incoming administration. We cannot stay on the sidelines when black and brown people are being maligned and mistreated. We cannot look the other way and ignore injustice just because it doesn’t touch us personally. We are to join together as the Body of Christ and get involved.

Sometimes I let my imagination play and imagine a world where people who crave adventure and go off seeking it in all sorts of silly and empty ways — what if they caught on to who they are and what they are called to do with God? What if they accepted the challenge to work with God to create something awesome and beautiful out of this mess we are in right now? What if those wasted energies and sometimes destructive energies were harnessed on behalf of the living God? Not only would these people come truly alive but the world and Creation itself would blossom with new life.

All Creation waits and yearns for holy people who are willing to take on the challenges that God presents to us every day — to create the Beloved Community of God on earth as it is in heaven.

My beloved ones, be holy.

Bishop Kedda

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