The Return to Eden
By Mark Scott Grimmett
Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God.
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
The cubicle at work is lined with photographs of my nephew, snapped at opportune moments in order to capture his incredible personality. I often find my eyes drifting over these images, a silly grin tugging on the corners of my mouth as I’m lost in the reverie of a little life that is so very precious to me. The ring of his laughter is a cadence of joy to my heart, and the sound of his cries is a vexation to be answered though the heavens fall. Such is the love that most parents feel for their little ones – part of the miracle that Abba inaugurated when He and Yeshua patterned creation after the love that flows unobtrusively between them.
When my nephew is “being good” my heart bursts with love for him, and when he misbehaves the same feeling of love permeates the fatherly indignation that swells to correct the situation. It goes without saying that I would die for him if so called – for we share a bond that transcends the oath that I took to train him up in the ways of our Lord and raise to be a man of God in keeping with the miraculous conditions by which he entered into the world. And yet it’s amazing how much he is actually teaching me….
We’ve all read the scripture – likely heard it quoted a million times as preachers echo Yeshua’s admonition to be like children in order to truly become sons and daughters of the living God. Funny that such a simple statement should prove to be a cavernous truth on the matter of holiness – but it really is.
I’ve been praying to be granted a clearer definition of holiness as I long for a closer walk with our Lord. Mentioned regularly throughout the Word, holiness is a term that is felt on a “gut” level while remaining painfully indefinable on the surface. The gargantuan charge to “be holy” is in itself a vexing intimidation – superficially unattainable to the point of ludicrousness.
The volume of books that have been written on the subject would be a colossus to rival Babel if stacked atop one another; a thousand voices shouting opposing absolutes as theologians continually shoulder the task of defining this crucial term. We get by with a basic understanding that we are Holy because HE is holy – and it is Jesus within us making us holy even if we slip and fall. This neither excuses sin nor endorses a life that embraces sinful behavior – but it doesn't take us long into our journey with God to concede that being “holy” is apparently a gradual refining process.