Exalt the LORD our God, and bow down towards His holy mountain; for holy is the LORD our God.
~Psalm 99:9, REB
Holiness is not the way to Jesus–Jesus is the way to holiness.
What does the word ‘holy’ bring to your mind: little old ladies in long dresses with their hair in a bond and no makeup on their faces. Some folks get homely and holy mixed up. Is holiness perfect worship attendance, tithing, fasting or giving aid to the poor? The Pharisees did all of these things but Jesus never called them holy. When we think of God has being holy; we think of His unique difference. He is infinite in all His ways and that makes Him different from us. We can say, “There is no one like Him.” So He is set apart by virtue of who He is and of course, His ways are holy.
We are holy in a different sense. We are set apart because He set us apart. God is holy in and of Himself. He does not need our assistance or aid: He is holiness. We become holy when He sets us a part for special use. There was a holy day, the seventh day was set a part from the other six days. Zion was the holy mountain because this is where God choose to be worshiped. We have this idea that holiness is a degree of morality: if I do this, if I practice this, if I abstain form this…I will be holy. Our morality has nothing to do with holiness. There are millions of good moral people who are not holy. Only God can make a man holy and He does this by setting us a part for service. Holiness is wholly a work of grace.
One other thing: holiness is not separating yourself from society–It is God separating you for service to society. How can you serve humanity and love your neighbor when you are cloistered behind some stone wall? One more thing: holiness is not your garb. Jesus nor John the Baptist wore the attire of a priest: no collar, no suit and tie. One more thing: holiness is not a frown on your face: it is OK to laugh. A morbid and miserable face is not a good advertisement for Christianity.
The only bad thing about holidays is–they don’t last long enough.