For many years I wondered just what that meant; the infinitive form is said to be “to make holy or sacred, to sanctify or consecrate, to venerate”, but as the years went by that came to mean less and less to me. Does it mean to worship? Maybe. Worship also came to mean less as the years went by. Evelyn Underhill is reported to have said of worship: “The absolute acknowledgment of all that lies beyond us—the glory that fills heaven and earth. It is the response that conscious beings make to their Creator, to the Eternal Reality from which they came forth; to God”. That seems more satisfying to me than the conventional forms of worship or hallowing.
William Blake gave the most satisfying statement for me: “Everything that lives is holy” (end of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell).
George Fox gave a very satisfying definition: there is “that of God in every one”.
Everything that lives is holy and there is that of God in every one: is that the best (or only?) way that we may hallow God?
“ In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
Isaiah saw the glory of God, and he thought he was done for. But praise God, the seraphim has touched our lips and made us fit to ‘show forth his glory’.
“This is my Father’s world:
he shines in all that’s fair;
in rustling grass I hear him pass
he speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King, let heaven ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad.”
I drifted away from this study over a year ago, because it was getting very hard to find the God I know amid all the theological rants of ‘John’. I’ve got a longer love/hate relationship with that book than my similar relation to computers!
Somewhere in the intervening time, I read 1) several of NT Wright’s series on Jesus (“Christian Origins and the Question of God”) plus 2) The Secret Origins of the Bible, by Tim Callahan. Both efforts have been illuminating, though in different ways.
First of all, the Bad News. There’s nothing “secret” about what Callahan has to say. Much of it has been known for a very long time; and what I really like about his book is his talent for clarifying how we know it, what evidence has led modern scholars to certainty, not just that “It ain’t necessarily so” but that often it certainly ain’t so at all!
Wright, on the contrary side, chews up a lot of what modern scholarship has “proven” via atheistic assumptions, and makes a good, long argument for an underlying story behind the Bible that turns out to be true, after all.
So I’ll get this posted, and wait for the dust to settle in my poor mind… and see what more I can say… soon!
See first the kingdom of God and all these things….
I’ve read that hundreds of times and preached on it, but suddenly in the quiet hour this morning it came to me with new meaning. I’ve frequently said that I give God a few minutes every day, but that just isn’t what he said:
Well it came to me that it doesn’t just mean early in the morning; it means every minute of the day. Can you do that? Well I sure haven’t ever done it!
This morning in the quiet time it came to me to ask for that power in my daily bread. I can’t wait to see what happens.
Try it! and let us know what happened.