The word “holy” means to set something apart for a special purpose, specifically for God’s purpose. We call the Bible the “Holy Bible” because of all the books in the world, this one is set apart by God as His word. We call the Lord’s Supper “Holy Communion” and baptism “Holy Baptism” because God has set apart these means to give us His grace and forgiveness. We call the church the “Holy Christian Church” because God has set us apart as His people by grace. Why all this talk about things that are holy? Because there are some “holy things” approaching and I want us to be ready to truly set them apart.
Of all 52 weeks of the year, we call this one “holy.” Why? What sets this week apart? This is the week the Holy Christian Church observes the final hours of Jesus life and his glorious resurrection three days later. So, we set this week apart for that purpose. We worship on a Thursday where we remember how Jesus set apart bread and wine as a means not only to remember Him, but to truly give us his grace. We worship on a Friday where we remember how Jesus suffered and died upon an instrument of torture, paying the penalty for all our sins. We worship on a Sunday morning unlike any other, where grim darkness is destroyed by the intense beams of life and light as our Lord is raised from the dead, destroying death forever for all who believe. Set apart this week with us and walk with Jesus through this Holy Week.
I may be stretching it a little here, but I suggest we take the next two years and make them holy. Let me tell you what I’m thinking. We call the Bible “holy,” don’t we? We believe the whole thing is holy, not just the parts we read on Sunday. So, beginning in September, we will endeavor as a congregation to read through the entire Holy Bible in two years. How does this work? Let me tell you. From Monday through Saturday there will be a few chapters for you to read or listen to from the Bible. Then on Sunday, the worship and sermon will focus on that section of scripture that you read or listened to. In addition, we will encourage everyone to attend one of the many groups that will meet regularly to talk through the readings together. So set apart these two years to read God’s word! This will be a holy adventure for all of us!
Why should we read through the Bible together? As I look into our world and how it’s changed over the last 30 years, I see the need for the church to adjust to the times. I believe three things are necessary for the Christian Church at this time. 1) We must know what we believe. 2) We must know how to communicate what we believe. 3) We must build relationships that allow for that communication. Reading through the Bible like this accomplishes all of those. You will have confidence in what we believe because you will be reading it for yourself (1). Then you will meet together with other Christians to talk about what you read (2&3). My hope and prayer is that as we grow in the Holy Word, and we engage in holy conversation, that we will allow that Holy Word to infuse into our everyday relationships and conversations so that others may know what it means to be called “holy” by Jesus, the one who died and lives to forgive all their sins.