Separation Anxiety

Psalm 19; Acts 7:30-40; Exodus 19:9-15 (read online ⧉)

When we talk about or being holy, we have to start with God. We talk about each of us being unique, yet God is even more so. God was not created. God did the creating. All of us are created.
The Hebrew for Holy can be interpreted as sanctify and consecrate. Ultimately, though, the pervading feeling of the is separateness. This is not a bad separation. In the case of the separation between God and man, it is the natural separation between created and creator. In the case of the world and the Israelites (and later Christians), it is the separation from the world that does not know or follow God.

God, through Moses, is preparing the Israelites for the separation from the world, and even from their past (especially their time in Egypt). Symboliy, they are ly clean (bathing), their clothes are clean, abstaining from certain relations, and staying away from the mountain. This is all to set the stage for what is to come.

Similarly, in some wedding traditions on the day of their wedding, the and groom don’t see each other before the ceremony (or sometimes longer). They also dress differently than . It is a preparation for what is to come.

Holiness—or being set apart for God’s work—can happen slowly and subtly, or it can happen in a huge way. There are people whose experience is so quiet that it takes others to tell they have changed. Others have experiences that are amazingly (sometimes unbelievable) huge: instantly (and successfully) giving up alcohol or cigarettes; instant change in appropriate language or behavior.

God works on us differently, just as we are different people. The first step is to prepare ourselves. The second step is to be and willing.

1) Ug our passage in Exodus and our reading above as a guide, have you ever had a ual experience where you felt “” for something?

2) If you had such an experience, what was the thing that was different?

3) If you haven’t had such an experience, would you trust God to guide to it?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.