When thinking of Holiness in the past one thought of dark coated men with solemn faces, faces that as child I would fear as a smile could never appear on these faces, as i thought. These tall dark columns of people were holy, ladies with their black hats that drew their faces into a sharp demeanour, they dressed in colourless gowns that made me wonder if there was any colour at all in life. They walked with an apparent disconnect to life and all movement around them, solemn, removed, a higher life, this was the portal of holiness.
This is so far from what I have now realised and come to see, their religious straight jacket , kept me along with others away from a relationship, a relationship filled with colour, movement and adventure. Holiness was grey, holiness was somber, holiness was to be honest boring and we did not want anything to do with it.
I discovered that holiness was actually in wild and opposition to such blandness. Holiness in the Scriptures paints pictures, trying to create in our imagination a dynamic life that explodes with divine life. Story’s of wild fire, smoke, angels flying, during great deliveries, life of the edges radically brought with pace and power to center stage of view.
Holiness is being present with God ALIVE, LIVING, a live exploding far beyond what we have ever imagined. Colour, diverse, movement, sounds and holiness are far removed from the world when i first encountered them, holy people.
I have since realised holiness cannot be brought into control, being made manageable. We are invited into this life this holy life, and we have to receive it on its own terms not on ours. We are the ones that need to adjust and take up the invitation, we are the ones that need to reflect the colour splashed, the divine movement of this dance. Just as the people of the Book, the Scriptures reflecting the very life, fire, on fire them selves, a life emptying adventure of a life in Holy Spirit, a life manifest by the marks of Holy Spirit joy, not grey.
Not a life submitted to legalism and laws but a life expressing a holiness of dynamic enjoyment, being in the image and likeness of God.
So what does your and my holiness look like? What to we communicate to people as holiness in our lives style? Holiness did not make you something less than image and likeness of God, it does not make God small so we could manage God but explodes you, energizes you, enlarges you as the gift of God, being those who give out and display the very life, this holy life. A huge life expression, totally over the top, full of colour, spontaneous, by the way I am not talking of the extrovert, wether you are an extrovert of introvert this life is the same.
Let us do away with the cathedrals of sourness, the somber tall steeples, isolated towers of blandness, cold faces of tall cliff like sternness, none of these resemble this living holy God. Put back life giving, enhancing holiness. The life of creation expressed holiness, the life that put colour into the field, installed wildness, forest and jungles, the life that invented colour and paints continually the sky’s colour every night. How can holiness be that bland and sour? God has brought us to a holiness of colour, diverse, wild, uncontrolled life in its fullness, abundant life.
The world will see the depth and beauty of God, the beauty of this holiness I would even God on to say beauty is the vehicle of communicating the divine holiness, the the way we relate to holiness, lost in the beauty of creating we discover God, abandoned to the beauty in people, we find God.
God in holiness is creation, I think we now need to smell the aromas of Creation. In many places in Africa I walk by jasmine bushes as ground cover, as I do my nose is filled with an amazing aroma to the point where I want to linger, and thoroughly enjoy the aroma. I want to smell and engage with this beauty of holiness expression. Stop and smell the roses, let it awake holiness in you from within its holiness. Rubbing shoulders with our world, pressing our feet into the sand and earth, moulding its clay in order for us to worship God in the beauty of holiness.
This is not meant to be a theological search and defining of holiness but a desire to bring extravagant, exhilarating, spontaneous life to us, a showiness through which we might reflect that very holiness. Re read Psalms again especially 29 and see there holiness in the narrative of voice. The words in holiness expressed in wild, crashing sounds and movements, storms, God displaying movements. the play of great trees in holiness, with light illumination for us what holiness looks like, earthquakes, forest affecting shaking earth holiness choreographing movement. You have to conclude holiness has God speaking not being sober or silent, in the temple, the place of the church meeting creating all with a shout to a living God “the beauty of holiness”
Let us display the colour, let us embody the diversity, let us be the adventure and worship God in holiness. Holiness reconfigured I experience and reflect in my every day daily life, what i say, what a wear, how i live…
“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”