August 10, 2015

Dear Friends and Family of the Diocese of Eau Claire,

The theme at Camp Horstick this week is holiness. What is holiness? The words holy and sacred are connected and mean “set apart.” Thus a church altar made of wood is made holy because it has a special use that is connected to God. On this table of wood the Eucharist is celebrated before a worshiping community on a continuing basis. Its use and purpose is different from the wooden table in your dining room or kitchen.

The word holiday actually comes from “holy day” and marks a day as special in our relationship with God. The stores like to call Christmas and New Year’s Day the holidays, so as to de-emphasize their religious character designating the birth of Jesus and the naming of Jesus. Little do they know that using the word holiday actually heightens the Christian significance of these observances. When someone says, “Have a nice holiday.” You could respond by saying, “You have a nice holy day as well.”

When we and God designate something as holy or sacred, what does that make other things? For instance, a church building is sacred space, so what about the rest of the world? Isn’t all of God’s creation holy—designed for his delight and glory? The answer is yes! Then are some things more special than others? Perhaps God wants us to ponder these questions rather than jump to conclusions. In studying and reflecting upon the concept of holiness we are wrestling with God. We are spending time with him. In so doing we are becoming holy ourselves, and this may be what God has wanted all along. With my love and best wishes, I am,

Your brother in Christ,