"While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
'Set apart for me...' " Acts 13:2
Set Apart or Set a Part? Set a part is to comb a line on your scalp so that some of your hair goes to the right and the other goes to the left of your face. Of course, setting a part doesn’t mean your hair will stay in place. Some people, their strands, stand straight upright or go in every which direction. In which case, you may need to gel or mousse your locks into submission. Your hair may just go wild regardless, in which case you can't really set a part, can you?
Perhaps the corresponding (year C, Memorial of St. Barnabas) gospel reading echoes the hair theme from the first reading in Acts.
“ Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.” Mt 5:36
Matthew 5:36 talks about hair having a mind of its own and turning gray even if you really prefer another color; setting color but not setting parts.
Then it dawns on me. The Holy Spirit, in Acts 13:2 is referring to setting apart, not setting a part. Only one space bar separates me and the Lord’s message.
Set apart as to dedicate for a special purpose. Like God did with the Levites (by the way, they couldn’t cut or shave or trim their strands --hair theme again?). They were supposed to be dedicated to the Lord so that meant they couldn't touch a hair on their precious little heads. God’s rules.
If I made the rules, only people whose hair would stay in place (and do what they are told) should be set apart for God’s work. Why? Because what if their wild, misbehaving hair reflects their same attitude of doing whatever, whenever they want? Makes total sense to me but it's a good thing I am not in charge.
Just like the Levites, your hair (and all parts of you) shall be docile to the Holy Spirit, recognizing and responding to the Holy Spirit who says, "Set apart for me...."
Our entire being responding as did Samuel who submitted to the Lord’s call: "...Speak Lord, your servant is listening." 1 Sam 3:10
Only one space bar separated me from the Lord's message. In the spiritual life, a tiny thing can make a world of difference. You may be closer than you think.
For what is the Lord asking you to set apart?