Set Apart

Leviticus 10:3

Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’”

Acts 10:36

As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ – he is Lord of all.

20160804-alaska-cruise-juneau-ketchekan02961

One of the beautiful flowers we saw in Alaska: this one was in Ketchikan, and we saw it and others while on a walk through the town.

The recent national presidential election has yielded a mixture of relief, fear, anger, and distress, not to mention a reaction of surprise on the part of almost everyone. There have also been demonstrations against President Elect Donald Trump, decrying his misogynistic comments, crude language, and policies. He’s not MY President! is the refrain that is repeated again and again. If ever we need a peace-maker, one who can bring people together, a uniter, it is now.

Peace comes from the one to whom we tie our hearts. That’s true politically: we are far more at peace when our candidate wins. It is even more true, however, with regard to God. If your heart is tied to God you will find true and lasting peace. That’s God’s gift. That’s the fruit of faith. For God’s people, his presence is the realm of peace.

To that end, we both sanctify God – that is we set him apart – and we glorify God in our worship and life. The idea of God being sanctified (set apart) brings a nuance to our relationship with God. We don’t make God holy. We do, however, set him aside in our hearts (1 Peter 3:15), and honor him as Lord. We do properly find the greatest peace in entrusting ourselves to his grace and mercy.

We rightly think of the Holy Spirit’s work as setting us apart, making us holy (“sanctifying us”).  The fullness of the Holy Spirit’s work brings us to faith in Christ and then moves us to enthrone him in our hearts. No political candidate, system of government, peace treaty, wall, or election result or overturn can ever bring such lasting and perfect peace. That’s the message and gift of Jesus, and he is Lord of all.

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