The word "sacrifice" is an oft-used and little-understood word in our culture. We use it in that flippant way we also use the word love, as if nothing is really holy anymore. In the Cambridge Dictionary it says sacrifice is "the act of giving up something that is valuable to you in order to help someone else." In the biblical sense the idea is that true sacrifice is an act that transforms what is offered into something that is "holy" or "sacred."
So ... how do we redeem this time when we are prone to watch too much TV, worry too much or just melt into little heaps of tearful flesh? We consider and apply sacrifice. Here are a few points:
1. None of what is happening is about us. It will affect us. It could even be devastating to some of us. It will certainly impact our world. In my lifetime I have never seen anything change life in such a short period of time. We must realize that this is a time and place in history when our individual actions impact people beyond ourselves. It is not about us ... but our sacrifice can help others. Our behavior can, in how we love others more that our "wants", become our sacrifice to do our part to help.
2. A question. When, in life, do we as God's people have more of a chance to change the world and make it better than when we have the chance to "make sacred" something that (if left alone) spreads evil throughout our world? This is in our wheelhouse as Christians! This is what we are all about ... doing stuff that helps people beyond ourselves and telling people (through our actions) that we care about them!
3. We are in the season of Lent, the 40 days before Holy Week. It is likely that our Easter will be impacted by what is happening around us. But isn't Easter and every Sunday morning all about a God that loved us so much that He gave His life as a sacrifice for us? The holiest being in the universe acts in a way that makes possible a heavenly destination for all of us who live, struggle, work and strive in this place we call the world. As sacred as His life was (and is) Jesus makes it even more sacred by giving up Himself for the forgiveness of sins. "For God so loved the world [this means all folks] that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life." Because our leader was a person of sacrifice, so must we be!
I am working on plans to remember Jesus' sacrifice in a very special way. Those plans are moving forward with the help of many wonderful workers. While our nation, our state and our community asks for us to make some hard sacrifices, maybe we should view this as a chance for God's people to shine, be a solution and be light in our current dark circumstances. This is what we were made for! It is our destiny! Randy