I love the almost holy tranquility of this old photo. This morning while preparing my thoughts for a teaching on understanding the purpose and place of Sabbath rest as Gentiles tonight at Queen City Church in Cincinnati, I meditated on the differences between the common and holy things of life. Sabbath is the first thing that God called holy. To understand what is holy, we must first grasp what is common.
Everything God created to that point in creation was common—the universe, nature, planets, stars, animals, time as we know it, man, and woman. Now suddenly God declares one day unlike the others, separated from the common. One space of time holy.
We don’t understand the holy elements of the Sabbath until we keep it. It may pass all of mankind weekly as common and mundane as dirt unless someone here on earth separates this day from all others, therefore elevating it above the rest. God’s word gives commands about what activities go along with a day that is deemed holy—ultimately to refrain from work and in so doing honor God and his world.
Scripture also commands that those who follow God through the cross of Jesus are to be holy as he is holy. This is an unattainable feat. But. God. He forgives, makes us new creatures, and separates us from the common life on earth by his blood redemption. When we begin to walk that life, in earnest, we are constantly living by separating the common from the holy in the unseen world and the natural. In truth those that abide in him, every act is an offering of worship separating the common from the scared.
Those without God live in the common and reject the sacred and holy utterly. It is the uncommon rather than the holy or separated that grabs attention. “To do a common thing uncommonly well,” was my high school motto. At the time, it seemed enlightened. Even now, the idea strikes a chord that sounds profound. The holy or sacred are unattainable, maybe even archaic but the uncommon may be just that thing that allows mankind to rise above the pedestrian. The uncommon is not the holy. They are as different as tin and gold. God’s standard is to separate these two and allow him to elevate the willing and available to the holy. There is super natural power there, also peace and rest and joy—all those things that money can buy.
My experience is that the more I know him, perceive him, endeavor to love and please him, the more I realize the common is all very holy too when the light of his glorious redemption shines in and through me. Yes, I’m beginning to think that it’s all holy. He is calling us higher… deeper.