A Holy Box and a Holy Week
I have a box in the closet of my office that is holy. It is not old. It is not worth thousands of dollars. It’s never been blessed by some religious dignitary. It’s a normal, clear Rubbermaid-style bin. You could buy something just like it for $10 at your nearby hardware store. The box is nothing exceptional; it is made holy by its contents.
Inside the box are neatly stacked, freshly hand-knitted blankets. A while ago, Cathy Hill, who loves to knit, decided to put that skill to use in the church and in the Kingdom of God by knitting these blankets, praying over them as they are knit, and offering them for me to take to anyone who might just need to feel covered in prayer. Tied by a ribbon to each is a card that reads: “Just a simple shawl made with prayers for you to cover you with blessings for times you’re going through. I pray that wrapped around you you’ll feel our Savior’s arms holding you and loving you, and keeping you from harm ‘…be sure of this – that I am with you always…’ Matthew 28:20.” This week Cathy Hill is moving up near Kinston to Albertson, NC. She’s never made a fuss about this silent, time-consuming ministry, and now that she is moving, it will live on after her.
Thinking about how holy this box is helps me to understand the real meaning of the word. “Holy” does not mean something expensive. It does not mean that it is something without any blemish or defect. For us to be a holy people we do not have to be perfect. Just like this box all it means is that something has been set aside, separated out and dedicated to God. When we as a church are committed to being faithful to God’s awesome calling and mission for the world, we are holy, because that distinguishes us from the world around us.
Next week is Holy Week, meaning it is a week that on paper and by nature is not really any different than any other week. But we set it aside to remember the final week of Jesus’ life. This year, you will have the chance to take part in baptism this Sunday (one all-church service at 10am), join us for a special worship service on Maundy Thursday (7pm), wake up early to seek the risen Christ for a sunrise service in Hugh McRae Park (6:30am), and then join us at either of our Easter Worship services (8:45 and 11am). Now this week has been set aside, but it will not truly be a Holy Week until we decide to dedicate it to God. With every breath we breathe in this life, we are weaving the tapestry of our own lives. Will we take those breaths, set them aside, and dedicate them to God? If so, then we can truly have a holy week.