Today for our bible study we met in small groups. My group includes: Bath and Wells, Burundi, Philippines, Saskatchewan, Kenya, and Trinidad and Tobago. What a gift to have a diverse group which began with laughter and joy.
We will meet together every day. I am the conveyor of mine.
My thoughts, and my thoughts only, coming from our passage from I Peter 1.13-16.
Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
I Peter, as a whole, is the theme for our time together.
This particular passage spoke to me of Holiness. Be holy as God is holy. A passage that comes from the beginning of scripture and passes through to the whole of creation and kinship theology to the end.
The notion of Holiness has often been connected to the Trinity unified - God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit - united in holiness by God’s perfect love. The meaning here for me is the notion that I cannot be holy alone. First, holiness begins with God, God’s perfect love, and proceeds into creation. Second, the community is bound together by God’s spirit and perfect love first, that this holiness of shared life is in fact born from the perfect love of the Holy Spirit itself. It is not my love or even my ‘likes’ that bind us - it is God’s perfect love of the Holy spirit. Finally, it is our total witness of collective individuals that proceeds outwards in God’s love.
This holiness of being gathered together in God’s holy mutual love by the binding of the Holy Spirit removes our unity from how we (our minds and bodies) feel. This binding is also knit together by Christ’s’ s cross that saves all - even in our brokenness. Finally, we are made one by our shared creation of body by God. This is important and deep theology.
Only after, in baptism, giving ourselves up to this Holy God of love may we move into living our apologetics. In other words, our evangelism of the world begins first with our acceptance of God’s love in action, and proceeds from there. Then, our bodies (actions, words, life lived) become our witness the greater truth. We work and aspire towards this Holiness of God. Be holy as your God is holy.