It’s a word we don’t hear much about these days.
Once, it guided a nation, was the motto of parents, was expected to be shouldered by everyone in the society.
World wars were won because of shared sacrifice. Generations were educated because of sacrifice. Safety and security were assured because of sacrifice.
Now, it’s power seems to be found mainly in the military.
It’s time to restore this value in all our lives.
It was the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that changed the world. It was the choice of God to become real and present to us that allowed us to be changed as well.
It is the challenge of sacrifice that now faces us and our nation as we begin to sort out the ways to respond to the deep and tragic destruction of the Gulf Region as well as to the challenge of Terrorism and the War in Iraq.
I invite all of you to take time and pray about what sacrifice means to you.
Perhaps you need a time of study and struggle about what God has done in Jesus Christ. Out of such and act, we learn that God is willing to sacrifice for us. And so we lean that to sacrifice for others out of our love of God is at the very heart of Christ.
Love God, Jesus tells us, with all your heart, mind, body and soul, and love others as you love yourself. (Matt 22:37)
It’s quite a challenge. It requires us to sacrifice.
Perhaps we need to realize that while finances are limited, other parts of our lives could be offered in terms of the time and talents God has given us.
Sacrifice could be in the way we examine our attitudes and work to change them to be more in line with God’s will.
Sacrifice could be in the way we recognize our own sinfulness, our desire to go our own way even if that means we leave God behind or marginalized.
Sacrifice could simply mean putting our life in God’s hands and trusting with all that we have.
Are you ready to consider sacrifice as a life style? Are you ready to see where God’s love might lead you?
Then Jesus told his disciples,
‘If any want to become my followers,
let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
For those who want to save their life will lose it,
and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
For what will it profit them
if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?'
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Terry Van Hook