Pastor Shawn Hannon
Hope Lutheran Church Arcade, NY
¾ of the world is covered in water.
⅔ of the human body is made up of water.
15,000 gallons of water fall over Niagara Falls every second.
And 20 gallons of water go into making every pint of beer.
Water really is ALL around us.
Which always makes me wonder, what then makes Holy Water so special?
I mean, water’s everywhere. We drink it. We clean with it. We play in it. We garden with it. It’s all around us. In fact, every year the average American uses 100,000 gallons indoors and out. What then makes the shot glass worth at the back of every Catholic Church so special?
I asked some folks at my church that question the other day, and their answer didn’t surprise me. “That water,” they said, “has been prayed over by a pastor. That’s what makes it Holy Water.” And, I suppose they are correct. Pastors and priests do give thanks over the water, but here’s the little secret not every pastor will want you to know. What makes Holy Water holy is not some pastor’s magic hands or special prayer. No, what makes Holy Water holy is that it has been set apart from all other water, to serve a special purpose. It’s not there to clean, hydrate, or grow. Holy Water has been set apart to save and restore.
That’s the simple truth. What makes Holy Water holy is that it has been set apart, so that with the grace of God it might claim people through baptism and refresh others who need the reminder.
We forget that these days. We talk about “holy” things as if they are supernatural (and what we end up becoming is superstitious), but holy things aren’t supernatural. Holy things are super regular—regular things that have been set apart.
And the reason I need you to know that is because sometimes we have the same tendency to do that to people. We assume that God only wants super apostles (side note: God’s never wanted super apostles, so beware of them), when what God is really doing is setting ordinary apostles like us aside for his work and his purpose.
What makes us different? What makes the water in the font different from the water for your lawn? Nothing. Nothing except, we have been set aside. We have been set aside, and now joined with God’s grace we have the ability and the responsibility to help people in this life as we point people to salvation in the next.
You are holy, because God is holy (1 Peter). In a world that tells you to fit in, remember to stand out.
Joke: What do you call a cow standing by himself? Holy Cow!
In the Way,