Sunday, December 14, 2008

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blamelesss at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. -1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Sanctify. Now that's a "church word" if there ever was one, isn't it? What I mean by that is that it sounds mysterious and is definitely not a word that we use often, is it? In fact, I must admit that I had to pull out my copy of "Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms" to get a more accurate definition. For, within the context of the above passage of scripture it is easy enought to see that it is something good and not a threat, coming from the God of peace.

So what does sanctify mean? What is this great thing that God is giving to us to help us prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? Well, sanctify comes from the Latin sanctus, that is "holy", and is defined as "That which is regarded as being holy, sacred, or having divine qualities." Wow! Now that is quite a gift, isn't it? That God himself will make us holy as a means of preparing us for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What does such a gift make you want to do? If you really took to heart such a gift, how would you live differently? Where in your life would you see things in a whole new way?

O God of peace, help us all to live with the tremendous gift of your sanctification of us. Help us grow in our understanding of what it means to be holy as you are Holy. As we await the Nativity, may we remember not just the baby, but the man who lived, taught, healed, died and rose again so that your holiness may continue to flourish in us all. Amen.

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