This Day Is Holy
I’m not going to lie. Some days homeschooling is a bit of a mess. It’s enough to finish a few math problems and a phonics lesson before the circus erupts. Brielle would much rather be outside picking flowers and Lyric would rather be building a fire with Jon. Who's Jon, you ask? The log twice her size she carries around like a pet dog.
We have days like this.
But one thing the pixies never tire of, miraculously, is Bible class. They will stop whatever they are doing at the moment to gather around the table and listen to the Bible lesson for the day. As a former theology major, this thrills me. I have three young girls of my own that I have the opportunity to teach truth to every morning.
We are currently studying the return of the exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem. It is impossible to read the story without getting emotional. The Israelites waited years to return to their country. Some were unable to go because age had caught up with them, some had assimilated into the Babylonian culture so deeply, like Daniel, that a return was not in their story. But for those Israelites who chose to go back, it was like the second Exodus. Only this time they were returning to build the Temple.
When the Israelites returned to their land, they found the temple in ruins. Yet, they faithfully set about to rebuild the walls despite much opposition. And, after they settled into their own towns, they asked for one thing. Nehemiah records the scene:
“All the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel.” (8:1)
50,000 exiles gathered together, asking for the Scriptures to be read. Maybe it sounded more like a chant: “Bring out the Law.” So Ezra opened the Scriptures: “He read it aloud from daybreak till noon...in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.” (8:3)
Their response was one of worship. This mass exodus of people fell with their faces to the ground. Weeping ensued. They were hearing the Word of God read aloud, all 50,000 of them falling facedown, a holy wave of sound.
But then Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites quieted the Israelites with this interesting statement, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” (v.9) Then again Nehemiah says, “This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (v.10) And, finally, the Levites follow with ,“Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.” (v.11)
Three times, the day is mention as being holy. There is a progression:
“This day is holy to the Lord.”
“This day is holy to our Lord.”
“This is a holy day.”
It is almost as if Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Levites were trying to awaken the Israelites to the truth that the day itself they were living was worth noticing. It was a day they would always remember as one filled with joy. The captives had been set free, the law restored, they were finally home.
This is a holy day.
A Day Worth Noticing
This day is a new day for each one of us. We have been given 24 hours, 16 of those hours are waking hours that we can choose to squander or redeem. Life often throws it’s worst at us. The weight of grief burdens even the strongest of us. But the Creator formed this day for His glory. We aren’t guaranteed of much, but we are guaranteed that as surely as the sun rises in the east, it will set in the west this evening. This is a holy day.
Created by the Creator, He rules this day. The day is obedient to Him. This is not to be taken lightly. Though He is outside of and above all He makes, the Creator deemed this day holy. What is interesting to contemplate is that since there is a separation between the created and the Creator, nature itself is devoid of divinity. Yet, God speaks into the consecration of the day. Perhaps Lewis was on to something when he wrote, “In another sense the same doctrine which empties Nature of her divinity also makes her an index, a symbol, a manifestation, of the Divine.” (Reflections on the Psalms)
Can the day itself become a magnificent reflection of the Divine himself? It is not divine, yet it is a symbol of the One who is divine.
"I don’t have the money to pay our mortgage this month."
This day is holy.
"I just received a huge promotion."
This day is holy.
"I am not sure if we can make this marriage work."
This day is holy.
"I choose to say 'I do’ to a lifetime of forever with you."
This day is holy.
When we choose to accept the good as well as the bad that each day brings forth, might we be testifying to the nature of the Divine Creator of the day? By lifting up our hands in thanksgiving and rejoicing in the bad hours as well as the good, are we lifting a song of praise to the One Who set it all in motion? “By emptying Nature of divinity ... you may fill her with Deity, for she is now the bearer of messages.”
What message do I want to bring forth in this day, this 24 hour period?
Just as the Israelites gained victory in their second exodus, a welcoming home to the wanderers, we can sing a song of victory in this day. Christ is the Victorious One Who created the day. Revelation 4:11: “Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created.”
Might we sing with the 50,000 exiles, “Weep not--This is a holy day to God: a day appointed for rejoicing in the One Who releases the captives, redeems our relationships, writes His law on our hearts.”
I hear my pixies singing a song, a melody I learned as a little girl, “This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made …”
Let us rejoice in it!