The Holiness of The World

Yesterday was a good day.  I spent the day monitoring brisket and pork belly in my smoker, along with some sausage, and a smoked cauliflower for a vegetarian guest who was coming for dinner. 

When everyone arrived, laughter filled the house, and then we all tucked in to eat; I had a sense that something special was happening. 

All three of my boys were there, along with my dad and stepmom.  My middle son had invited some friends over, most of whom I've seen grow up from gangly high schoolers to young men. 

The summer night was kind of perfect, and the cares and troubles of the world got pushed aside for a while.  I felt a sense of peace, and joy that I carried with me to bed last night.  

Sometimes, you experience holy moments in the world, and you often don't realize just how incredible they are until you've had time to reflect on them. 

You might feel something at the time they are happening for sure.  

It could be a sense of time slowing down a bit, or of beauty that catches your breath.  You could even feel as though you are observing what is happening outside of yourself.  

The idea of the holiness, or sanctity, of that moment, may not occur to you later. We often find ourselves feeling a sense of longing after we've had one of those experiences, wishing that we could go back to it and feel that feeling again. 

We felt something of the Divine in the world around us, and that feeling never completely faded away.  

I read this quote from author and poet Wendell Berry this morning that really helped me to reflect on my experience last night:  

The Bible leaves no doubt at all about the sanctity of the act of world-making, or of the world that was made, or of creaturely or bodily life in this world. We are holy creatures living among other holy creatures in a world that is holy.  

We don't often reflect on the idea of the holiness of all of Creation, but it deserves our attention.  

I believe that the Universe and God are one and that when we speak of the Universe, we are speaking of God.  The Divine presence permeates all of creation and is constantly creating, restoring, renewing, and resurrecting.  

The Apostle Paul said that it is within God that we move, breathe, and exist. In other words, God is the "ground of all our being," to use theologian Paul Tillich's words.  

We are surrounded by the holy all of the time, everywhere.  But there are times when the veil between God's reality and ours gets a bit thinner, and we see more clearly just how present God is within God's creation.  

It's in those moments that we are reminded of the truth about the world, ourselves, and others.  Even though the world is often not as it should be, it is never separated from the God who created it, and us.  

There are plenty of broken places within us, others, and the world around us, but God is there doing what God does to make it new and right. Realizing this is the first step if we are to be the people God longs for us to be. 

Take the time today to look around you, and be aware of the holiness that surrounds you.  Let yourself see God at work.  Allow yourself to sink into that experience and be filled with peace and hope. 

May it be so.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, now and forever.  Amen.   


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