The other day I saw this quote (on Facebook, I think) by Walter J. Chantry: “The Bible as a whole speaks more of God’s holiness than of His love.”
At first I didn’t think much of it, but this quote kept coming back to me. It just didn’t seem quite right.
Then I wondered if this quote was perhaps supported by the number of times the word “holy” or “holiness” appears in the Bible versus the number of times “love” appears in the Bible. So I decided to check that theory with a word search at Biblegateway.com. What I found was that there are 555 verses that include either the word “holy” or “holiness,” and 698 verses that include the word “love.” So much for that theory.
The more I pondered this quote, I realized what was wrong with it. It suggests that God’s holiness and His love are somehow separate. But I believe it is God’s infinite love that makes Him holy, and His infinite holiness that is expressed as His love.
When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied that it was to love the Lord our God. And that the second greatest command was to love our neighbors as ourselves. Elsewhere in scripture we are called to be holy just as our Father in heaven is holy. It seems to me that love and holiness go hand-in-hand — we cannot have one without the other.
Of course, this whole thought process culminated in a poem.
Holiness and Love
Your holiness upon the cross
I can scarcely bear to see
Revealing love of greatest worth
that sets the captives free
Without such love, no holiness
forever could there be
If not for Your great holiness
You would have no love for me
This is my offering of the day for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night #50. Head over and check out some other great poetry.