Reflection: A central theme of the Old Testament book of Leviticus is the vital importance of trying to be holy, in response to the grace of God. Jesus commanded: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). Paul exhorted us to perfect our holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7:1).
The Pietists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, who did so much to make Germany and America great, took these admonitions as seriously as anyone. The founder of Pietism, Philipp Spener, taught that an increasingly holy life was the best assurance of one’s salvation (cf. Rom. 12:1, James 2:20, 26).
Spener, incidentally, was a man to be reckoned with. Perhaps his most enduring innovation was the “pious gathering” – it was he who initiated the custom of small groups of Protestant Christians meeting together regularly to read the Bible, pray, discuss contemporary topics, and hold each other accountable. Sound familiar?
Question: Do you consciously strive to be holy? If so, how? And why?
Prayer: Father, I recognise that unusually pure behaviour ought to be a distinguishing mark of Christians, since we are your holy nation. Help me to be holy, and help me to help my fellow Christians be holy. Amen