There was a girl on the radio the other day who described a famous ‘Pop Star’ as a ‘Holy Joe’. The same day a woman in a shop described her son as a ‘holy terror’. It made me realise how much we use and misuse the word holy every day.
There is a church on the corner called ‘Holy Trinity’ and on its notice board it says they have something called ‘Holy Communion’, and I bet somewhere in your house you’ve got a book labelled ‘Holy Bible’.
Now in the Old Testament the word originally meant, separated, different, and to some folk it carried with it the notion of a cross between a kind of an electric shock and something like a virus from outer space.
It was the great prophets of the 8th century before Jesus who gave a new dimension to the word ‘holy’. Isaiah’s favourite name for God was ‘The Holy one of Israel’. This new dimension meant that the word holy now contained a shining kind of goodness, it had a moral beauty about it, and it was exactly the quality that amazed people who recognised it in the personality of Jesus of Nazareth; They said such things about Him as ‘The Holy one of God’.
So you see, ‘holy’ is one of those seed words which grew into a tremendous flower and ‘holy’ means that quality which we recognise as really good. Not separated from the world by a high monastic wall, but different because it had a real purity about it.
Now in the Bible in the first letter of Peter, Chapter 1 v 13, it tells you about being holy; read it today.