Leviticus 20:26 (ESV) – 26 You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.
Today, I sat at a playground watching my daughter slide, jump, skip and run with a ton of other kids she had never seen before. They laughed like old friends – at least for 2 year olds…
As I looked at the parents around me though, I was struck by how each of us distinguished ourselves. There was a woman in a hijab with her young son and husband. A dad with a backwards baseball cap and tattoos covering his arms. Two moms dressed nearly identically in 6-inch heels. And another who looked like she had just rolled out of bed. We all looked different. Intentionally so…
I wonder about the reasons we make the choices we do. I think, we are a people who like to be different, but in our different-seeking desires sometimes we end up being the same. We go after the same ends of self-identity and self-satisfaction and, for the most part, serve the same cultural gods. This is true even in the Church, in the West at least.
The great sin of the Israelites in the Old Testament, and the sin that ultimately leads to their exile, is that they do not heed the call of Leviticus 20:26. They were called to be separated that they should be the Lord’s own possession, distinct from those around them. Yet, they went into the Promised Land, they conquered the people, though not entirely, and then became exactly like the Canaanites. They worshipped like the Canaanites, took advantage of others in business like the Canaanites, and they were judged like the Canaanites.
My questions/prayers are how do we look? Do we, brothers and sisters in Christ, look different than those who are not in the family? Are we holy? Are we separate? Are we really that different?
I pray we are or that we would be… What would it take?