As a church we have started the new year by signing up to follow the Scripture Union Word Live Bible plan for 2014 – you can find more details about this here. Today’s reading was a difficult passage in Leviticus 11 about clean and unclean foods. It can be so tempting to skim over these portions of scripture really quickly, and I’m not actually going to spend time unpacking it here, but there was one verse that really stood out for me:
‘I am the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.’
A friend of mine who is much more ‘learned’ in theological matters pointed out that the word for holy that is used here actually means ‘set apart’. (He is blogging his way through Word Live this year – for some amazing insights do sign up to his Blog through the Bible.) Anyway, back to the point in hand. However confusing we can find the list of dos and don’ts in the Old Testament, the crux of the matter is that God is a holy God, and His people must be holy too. That doesn’t change between the Old and New Testaments so it means us today too! 😉
Reading this passage this morning I was stopped in my tracks by the above verse. It made me question – am I holy/set apart? Do those around me recognise that quality in me; see there is something different about me and acknowledge that I am indeed one of God’s ‘set apart’ people? Or do I simply blend in to the culture around me? How easily do I allow myself to be swayed and influenced by the people and situations I find myself surrounded by? I know I am not to set myself apart so much that I no longer connect with people and reach out to them – but the challenge is to be in this world but not of it. How well do you think you are doing with this?
One woman who is working out her faith in an industry known for its stress and cut-throat approach is Annabel Partridge. Last year she also completed the Cycle for Freedom for The A21 Campaign. Read my interview with her here. (Sorry for the shameless plug – I just think her story is inspirational.) Thanks for your understanding ;D