As I prepared for my sermon last Sunday I found myself using the word ‘sanctify’ to express where I felt the text and the trajectory of my sermon heading. This surprised me somewhat. I was exploring the use of word ‘delight’ (delight yourself in the LORD; Ps 37) in other contexts in the Old Testament. In nearly every instance the term was directly accompanied with images of abundance and often of feasting. The trouble of course is that the larger contexts of these passages often dealt with the poverty that people were experiencing at a given time. While it may be legitimate in some passages to speak of a not yet that is gestured towards I was hesitant to reduce the present implications of these passages to an attitude that will help us in our impoverished state. It seems that if we affirm the goodness of creation and also affirm the abundance that is possible through delighting in the LORD then the two should be related. This led me to the term ‘sanctify’. This means that the material aspects of our context remain paramount and are indeed actually transformed in faithful acting; that a material context once impoverished becomes abundant in real and engaging sense. This may well be related to a spiritual sensing (eyes to see and ears to hear) but what does not get emphasized enough is that these remain sensing; they remain in the sensual realm of touch and taste.
These are just inklings of what emerged from sermon prep. They relate to my larger theological reconstruction of priesthood that I hope to find renewed time and energy to flesh out.