Please welcome AdeleAlys from Mathews, North Carolina to My Messy Desk for this week’s edition of #WORDNerdWednesday. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a new perspective to the table. Please give her loads of encouragment as she begins her blogging journey next Month!
from Latin “sacra” – holy/sacred & “facio” – to make/to do
Verb: To give away something valuable to get at least the possibility to gain something else of value
Noun: The act of offering something precious to please a deity
Appears in the Bible 377 times
Sacrifice is Voluntary
We’ve all seen it: The clunker with the graying paint and the bashed in back fender- parked in the far corner of the Costco lot- a cardboard sign in the front window with the words MUST SACRIFICE printed in a hasty scrawl.
But forfeiture is not sacrifice.
Jesus himself set the precedent:
John 10:18 New Living Translation (NLT) No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.
Sacrifice is Valuable
I long to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those I love and a significant contribution to the causes I believe in . Towards that end, I often exaggerate my investment of time and talent – elevating both to the level of “sacrifice.“
If I registered as an organ donor and gave a lung -that would be a sacrifice. But a series of Saturday’s running carpool to soccer practice is an inconvenience not a sacrifice.
The Biblical model for “big ticket ” sacrifice is clear:
Leviticus 17:11 (NLT) For the life of the body is in its blood.. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord. It is blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.
Hebrews 10:10 (NLT) For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
Sacrifice is extravagant and risky.
Here in the Church we respect tithing…even renaming it as “sacrificial giving”. But is it really? Let’s see…that is 90 for me and 10 for God. I would have to say, No.
True sacrifice puts everything on the line. I am thinking Easter images:
Luke. 22:20. (NLT) After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
What’s more, the exchange that occurred at the Last Supper and the Crucifixion is a poor business model. There is no guarantee of profit.
Yes…God gave his only Son so that all who look on him and believe in him may live. But we are willful and can reject what he died to give us. In the same way a donor recipient can reject an organ.
Still if one lost lamb returns to the fold – Jesus- both the Lamb of God and the Good Shepherd deems it all worthwhile.
Sacrifice is a lifestyle.
Ephesians 5:2 (NLT) Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice, a pleasing aroma to God.
Think of Noah (Genesis 8:20-21) – newly rescued from the flood. His first act was to sacrifice. He banked a fire and roasted the meat slowly.I imagine the smell lingered in the world for weeks…like Spaghetti sauce in the house after Sunday dinner.
As Christians, we too have been given new lives. Clothed in his peace and surrendered to his will, we are to walk as Christ’s representatives in this world and leave a sensory sign of his presence.
What are you wearing, the world may ask. Only when we can honestly answer “Jesus” will our sacrifice be complete.
The daughter of a Lutheran minister and a Catholic college professor, Adele-Alys faith life has always been a patchwork. Married to a Jewish man for 38 years, she delved deeply into his faith. It sharpened my picture of Jesus and popped my spiritual ears in ways I could not imagine.” You can connect Adele-Alys via Twitter (@morgantonrose), Pinterest, and her soon to be launched blog (adelealysblog.wordpress.com). Look for a “Back to the Garden” series beginning Holy Week.