What does it mean to be holy?

Dear Friends,

“Holy” is a word we use a lot in our worship and sometimes about different things in our lives, but we don’t think about it much.

We use “Holy” to describe that which we experience as sacred. It incorporates a multitude of different ideas and feelings depending on the experience of the individual using it. But for Christians in particular, the word holy is indissolubly linked to the life of the spirit – the Holy Spirit.

The holy is most often present “in between” us, in the space between ourselves and God, between ourselves and another. It is a sacred space where we sense all that is deep within us, connecting to that which is deep within another. It is a place of truth, beauty, and vulnerability.

Christians gather on Sunday in community to witness to the power of the Spirit working in us and among us. We are in the business of making the holy tangible in our lives and in the world about us. We know the holy cannot be captured through word, or action, or music. God is free to come and go as God wills. But we gather anyway to testify to the truth of our lives in the week that is past and in expectation of God’s presence in the week to come. To worship is to open the book of our lives, to bring all of our week for divine scrutiny, and have God make sense of it.

Gerard Sloyan writes:
“What do people do when they assemble to worship?

They seek out each other’s company to acknowledge the Love that surrounds them, impels them. If they live their lives regularly in the presence of the Holy and gather on Sunday to do the same in common, coming together in this way makes eminently good sense. If they do not live their lives in God’s presence, regular assembly may lead to a posture of awe, but this is by no means assured.” 


The Rev. Susan N. Eaves
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