Blue spring flowers on the Cathedral grounds

Set Apart, by God, and for God

The great beauty of Ash Wednesday is the visible sign of the cross worn by Christians. Seeing the people with the cross marked on their foreheads live their daily public lives signals to other observers that the person is different. Or alternatively, that the individual is set apart.

The idea of “setting apart” is common in our society. College graduates are set apart from non-graduates by the degree that is bestowed upon them. Musicians are set apart from non-musicians. Professional athletes are set apart from non-athletes.

What marks the experience of Christians as unique is not the idea of being set apart alone, but Who has set us apart and the reason we are set apart. We have been set apart by God’s purpose and to achieve God’s purpose.

For some individuals that purpose may be revealed as modern activism. At the same time, it may also be the act of raising your children to know and serve God. No matter the specific action, the consistent outcome of God’s purpose is that His works might be revealed to the rest of the world.