Thursday, April 10, 2014

seeing both sides of holiness

Thanks to the recommendation of a dear friend, I've been reading A Blossom in the Desert: Reflections of Faith in the Art and Writings of Lilias Trotter. Lilias was a British missionary in the late 1800's in Algeria, North Africa, and the founder of what eventually became part of Arab World Ministries. Her explorations of faith amidst suffering are profound. I'll share a few vignettes in days to come. Today, in light of my most recent post on Christian maturity, I thought I'd share a snippet of what she says about sanctification. It's much more than the absence of sin ...

"Holiness, not safety, is the end of our calling. Separation from all known sin is the starting-point for sanctification, not the goal: it is only the negative side of holiness; it is only reaching the place where God can develop His ideal in us unhindered. It is when the death of winter has done its work that the sun can draw out in each plant its own individuality, and make its existence full and fragrant. Holiness means something more than the sweeping away of the old leaves of sin: it means the life of Jesus developed in us." (125, emphasis mine)
Watercolor by Lilias Trotter from A Blossom in the Desert, page 219.

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