Mrs C and I discussed these words from Eugene Peterson in today's BiOY notes. We are now reading Leviticus:
‘God cannot fit into our plans, we must fit into his,’ writes Eugene Peterson. ‘We can’t use God – God is not a tool or appliance or credit card. Holy is the word that sets God apart and above our attempts to enlist him in our wish-fulfilment fantasies or our utopian schemes for making our mark in the world. Holy means that God is alive on God’s terms, alive in a way that exceeds our experience and imagination. Holy refers to life burning with an intense purity that transforms everything it touches into itself.’
The Hebrew word ‘holy’ (qadosh) probably originally meant ‘separate’ or ‘set apart’. It came to be used to describe the ‘otherness’ of God, and how his character and nature are so much greater and more wonderful than any other person or thing. For something else to be ‘holy’ simply means for it to be dedicated to God. You are holy to the extent that your life is devoted to him and your actions reflect his character.
..."‘First’, he writes, ‘every detail of our lives is affected by the presence of this holy God.’ We are called to holiness in every aspect of our day-to-day lives. Holiness and wholeness are closely related, and God wants the whole of our lives. Second, Eugene Peterson continues, ‘God provides a way (the sacrifices and feasts and Sabbaths) to bring everything in and about us into his holy presence, transformed in the fiery blaze of the holy.’