So, if being perfect is impossible maybe we should take a step back. If you'll recall, Jesus is rescuing the law from those who would water it down in order to make it more palatable. Fortunately, this week in our Old Testament lesson we have a portion of that law. And while our lessons end withe Jesus saying, "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," they begin, simply enough with these words from Leviticus, "You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy."
So perfect is out, but at least we can strive to be holy, right?
Well... holy seems a little on the difficult side too. Holy as in set apart for God. Holy as in not defiled. Holy as in fully devoted to loving God and loving neighbor. That doesn't seem too easy to me. I often forget that, as Paul puts it, I'm a temple for the Holy Spirit. Usually I'm too busy pumping that temple full of coffee, french fries, diet coke, and beer to remember the Temple part of me. Defiled? Yeah, probably. Fully devoted to loving God and loving neighbor - well sometimes, but often I'm too busy pumping myself up to remember the other two.
So I guess I can't be holy either. At least not on my own. So back to God, I guess, for more strength, for more blessings, for more forgiveness, and for more of his Spirit. Without that stuff, holy ain't gonna happen.