Today, the Anglican church remembers the lives of Crispin and Crispinian. These are a couple of saints (232 men and women in total), whose lives are shared in the hope of exciting others to holy living and to whom a date in the calendar is designated for their remembrance each year. They are listed as examples of “Exciting Holiness”. Now I’m guessing that for many, the words “exciting” and “holiness” don’t naturally go together, which is a shame, as for me, entering into the life God wants for us is anything but boring. Perhaps we hold too narrow a view of holiness.
In our church service last Sunday, we looked at other aspects of holiness, as part of our series drawn from Ephesians 1. Jess our preacher writes:
"On Sunday we were thinking about being holy and blameless in Christ. Holiness is often not a popular subject because when we hear that word lots of us relate it to religious good behaviour. However, in the Bible holiness is something that is conferred upon someone or something by God rather than something earned by us. That special status gives that object or person immense worth.
However, for something or someone to be declared holy they need to be a perfect which unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, we cannot become. Yet through faith in Christ that is exactly what we are which means that God delight to declare us holy. Therefore, as God's holy people, we have immense value. When we understand and accept our status in Christ, we can't help but worship, we start acting in accordance with our worth and we treat others as if they are valuable too. The most incredible thing about being holy is that nothing and no-one can take that status away from us."
Incidently, Crispin and Crispinian were shoemakers who lived in the third century. They were put to death for their faith at the beginning of the persecutions of Diocletian in 287 in Rome. They are reputed to have preached the Christian faith in Gaul whilst exercising their trade and so, like St Paul earning his living as a tent-maker, were no drain on the Christian community. It could be said that they are the patron saints of all Full Time Christian Workers, (i.e. all of us). May we be encouraged to follow their examples of exciting holiness!