TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Genesis 1:1–2:3

There’s a BBQ restaurant nearby known for a dish called “Pork & Greens.” It’s a layered dish of cheese grits, collard/turnip greens, and smoked pork in a little BBQ sauce, all topped with crispy fried onions. Down here in the South, it’s a great combination of things we love to eat.

We had a local preachers’ lunch at the restaurant one month, and the guy sitting next to me asked me what he should order, so I recommended the “Pork & Greens” since it’s well known. After he’d eaten a few bites, I ask him if he enjoyed it, and he says, “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.”

That is admittedly an odd story for this setting, but his response is an outstanding definition of “holiness.” Something “holy” is “unlike anything we’ve experienced.”

Genesis 1 outlines the days in which God created the world, concluding with His creation of man in His own image on day six. Chapter 2 opens with God’s reflection that His work of creation is complete; after six days of creative action, He rests on the seventh. The text then says, “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy.” The first thing called “holy” in the Bible is the seventh day. Why did God bless it and call it holy? Because it was unlike any of the previous six days.

As we consider holiness — both God’s and our own — we see that holiness means being different and separate. God was holy in eras dominated by pagan deities because He was completely unlike any of those false gods. God is holy today because He is completely unlike any of the affections that compete for our hearts. As we commit to holy lives, we must recognize it demands living completely unlike those who do not.

Today, I will…journal about a time when I thought, “This is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced” (holding my newborn child for the first time, seeing the Grand Canyon, etc.). Do I find myself regularly feeling this way about God and the life He wants me to live?