Yesterday's Daily Office readings included a portion from I Thessalonians that speaks directly to the title of this blog: "the Holy Life." Paul exhorts the Christians in Thessalonica to love God and their fellow Christians "more and more;" "for this is the will of God, your sanctification."
Sanctification is a vital yet oft-skimmed over doctrine for Christians. Justification is the means by which we are made reconciled with God. This took place once and for all on the cross at Good Friday and at the emptying of the tomb on Easter. But sanctification is the process by which we come to live a holy life with God after Easter.
This is no easy process. It takes a concerted effort to love God and love neighbor. There are hiccups, speedbumps, and blessings along the way. But once you start off on this path of sanctification, life does become more beautiful and holier. The songbird in the morning hours is no longer an unwelcome alarm clock, but yet another small part of God's creation singing praises to the author of life. The stench of the homeless man becomes an incense offering to the Most High.
Sanctification is the means by which we see the world through God's lens. We become holy, even as our Father in heaven is holy.