At the Intersection of Perfection and Love

We talk about the great power of God within the context of His love. And so we should. His love is powerful. His love is perfect. His love is tireless. His love is demonstrated at the cross and the invitation of the empty grave.

But it is proven in His perfection. Or another word we use often within the Christian Church: Holiness.

In very few times has a man experienced the wide chasm of difference between the best that mankind has to offer and the standard set by his Creator than when Isaiah, in a vision taken into the throne room of God, understood that God is worshiped day and night by angelic beings who do nothing more than state the truth that He is perfectly holy.

Holiness is odd. It is one of those words that is foundational to understanding the relationship between man and the various higher beings he believes in. Each of the religions of the world, in fact, believe in the same concept. They believe their creating gods are set apart and better than the created beings.

That’s what “holy” means, after all, is set apart.

You need look no further for a demonstration of the concept of holiness than a high school cafeteria. The seating area is stratified and people who are sociologically more preferable are in places that cannot be attained by lesser people.

That leads to the idea that we must investigate, then, that not all holiness is good. Holiness must be forged with justice, goodness, kindness, and love. I have met families that home school that demonstrate the concept of evil holiness quite well. [1] They separate their children from the mainstream of the culture, keeping them in something closely approximating living Tupperware. They bring them to church, but even there, their children must be set apart and better than their peers. There’s never a mixing, never a friend co-laboring and enjoying life together. There’s never a moment where they appear to even recognize their own fallen nature and hell bound journey apart from the grace of God.

The only holiness that matters is that of God. If we try to forge it ourselves, we create only bitterness, hurt, inequity, and loneliness.

In the context of God, holiness does the opposite of all of those.

It brings sweetness, healing, justice, and fellowship.

The difference maker is that God’s holiness is made out of His love. Think about it. God is not defined as the perfect rule-follower. He doesn’t spend all of his time explaining to us how much better He is than us. He did break it down for Job once, but that was mostly because Job was trying to have a grown-up conversation with God the same way my five year old tries to square off and box me.

God is set apart and beyond our comprehension because the power, extent, and perfection of His love is a level and standard so far beyond us that we cannot even touch it. Visually the perfect example of it is the place in the Sistine Chapel where Michelangelo depicted man almost, but not quite being able to reach for the hand of God.

Just slightly out of reach…

But a goal to reach, nonetheless…

His holiness is His love and His love brings us closer to His holiness, not that we may be set apart from others, but so that we may leave our own old selves behind.

From that very day we are saved, we are made new, and that change that begins within us begins to grow new human perfection out of the dead husk of ourselves.

And That. Is. Worth. Celebrating!

From the day You saved my soul

Till the very moment when I come home

I’ll sing, I’ll dance, my heart will overflow

From the day You saved my soul [2]

Something important to consider, though, is the perpetual state of perfection in which God exists and from which He does not depart. It is an aspect of His we ought to worship and never stop doing so. In the storied hymn we sing “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty,” and list off multiple proofs we have of both his worthiness of worship, and the capability of creation to evince that praise. In “Agnus Dei” we sing only that He is holy and that He reigns. These are truths that are not only foundational, but ultimate. They are final truths. There is no truth that is more important to us than that God, whose love outweighs every other love in existence is going to be our eternal experience to be replaced by nothing else.

We will enjoy Him forever. At the intersection of perfection and love we find God who perfectly displays Himself and us in His context. He gives us glimpses of who we may yet become if we will only journey forward with Him and trust His love.

  1. Please note, I do not lump all home school families together. Some of them are just as bezerk and nutty as their public school counter-parts. The good families I have known who have elected to take on the task of teaching their children personally far outweigh those who have been irresponsible and even harmful in the process.
  2. Adam Palmer, Johnathan Lindley Smith, Matthew Hein, Stephanie Kulla, “From the Day,” Essential Music Publishing LLC., 2014. CCLI# 7023274.

Categories: WorshipTags: , , , , , , , ,

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