As the Holy One of Israel, Jesus gives us a new understanding of the God who asks, ““To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. (Isaiah 40:25).
Long before Jesus, the prophet Isaiah had been overwhelmed by his vision of One who caused him to say “Woe is me”— after hearing angels cry out “holy, holy, holy is the Lord” (Isaiah 6:3).
Jesus gave us another way of hearing those words. While other religious leaders of his day used their understanding of holiness as an excuse to not reach out to those who needed help, he gave everyone reasons to love him.
Will we ever be able to understand an “otherness” that is not only infinitely “beyond us”—but intimately “with us”?
Could this be one reason we are asked to rely on the mystery of a Holy Spirit who has come close enough— to be in us, with us, for us, and through us— as the incomparable Source of our love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?
Could such freshness and renewal come with a holy smoke— that signal a new kind of fire and otherness?