Being Holy

Being Holy is not a goal, but a process, founded upon the unconditional and undying love we share with each other and with God. Being Holy is a gift freely given to all of us, together. It is not a prize for good behavior presented only to a select few.

Labyrinth at Amiens Cathedral
The Labyrinth Floor of Amiens Cathedral

Sermon: “Being Holy”

Delivered at ARK Community Church, Dalton MA
13th Sunday after Pentecost: September 7, 2014.

Scripture readings:

Leviticus 19:2-18 (NRSV)
Romans 12:1-2,9-18,21 (NRSV)
Matthew 22:36-40 (NRSV)

Podcast:

Please join me in prayer…

Lord, let it be your voice that speaks through my mouth, and let our hearts be open and receptive to the Word you have for us here, today. Amen.

One afternoon, a few years ago, a good friend of mine was crossing the street on a marked crosswalk at a stoplight, when a well-dressed man in his brand new white Cadillac SUV zoomed through the red light without stopping as he made a right hand turn.  He hit my friend, knocking him to the ground and leaving him dazed.  The driver stopped, rolled down his window, cussed my friend out for getting in the way, and roared off, never to be seen again.

We could use this incident to launch into a discussion about social justice, highlighting how those with power and position are often arrogant and believe their position entitles them to special privileges and consideration. We could then contrast this with my friend’s situation: a man of great talent and a good heart, but who, through no fault of his own, has long lived in the margins of our economy. Then asking whether he is any less deserving of consideration or respect than the driver?

But Jesus teaches us to be more concerned with our own hearts than with the hearts of others, even the hearts of those who seem to be self centered, wealthy and reeking of a sense of entitlement. So let’s look instead at how this situation is illuminated by this morning’s readings.

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