Definition: Is the loss of something you give up, usually for the sake of a better cause. An act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure.
It is simply a beautiful morning the birds are chirping the grass is slowly turning green and I am loving the freshness and dawning of a new day. Sitting here sipping on my ginger spiced tea and savoring this quiet time…just my computer screen, the dog, God and me…thank you for this time! I love it!
This week I have been pondering the word SACRIFICE. As we are in the final days of Holy week, I have been reflecting upon this very impactful word. Though no longer used only in a religious context, SACRIFICE comes from the Latin sacra and facere, meaning “to perform sacred rites.” If you’ve studied ancient cultures like the Incas, you’ve probably heard of “human SACRIFICE,” where a person is killed in a sacred ceremony to please the gods. Thank goodness I live in America and I do not have to practice these types of rituals today. It is hard enough for me to envision sacrificing a poor innocent animal like in the Old Testament of the Bible let alone a real live person. Yet on this Good Friday, this is exactly what Jesus Christ did on the cross for those who believe! As John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” He took the ultimate SACRIFICE for my sins to be forgiven. The words Thank you Lord seem to be too simple yet I am so thankful to be born again! I hope you have too!
While sitting here thinking about the word SACRIFICE and what it truly means…the word LOVE comes to mind. Those individuals who have SACRIFICED so much in their life mainly did it out of love and possibly respect. For example, those who have served or are serving our great Nation in the military have SACRIFICED their time, their own personal agenda, and daily comfort. Many have lost their own life or have been injured and continue to suffer physically and mentally. I think of our cousin whose mother sacrificially gave up one of her kidneys to make sure her son could live. So many teachers SACRIFICE their time, financial gain and even their lives to teach our children. I think of the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary and those who SACRIFICED their life to save another. Also, the tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma a few years back and those who sheltered others to protect the lives from the devastation Mother Nature can bring. Sacrificing your life for another is perhaps the most courageous thing anyone can do.
I think of my parents; the many SACRIFICE’S they gave to me as a child while growing up in rural Southeast Colorado. My mother especially carved out time to make sure I was at cheerleading practice; my uniform was clean after cheering late on Friday night and leaving very early on Saturday morning for a wrestling match the next day. She made sure I had a balanced meal and proper snacks to eat. She took me to girl scouts, rainbow girls, 4H meetings let me stay after school to work on school plays and FHA or whatever organization I was involved in at the time. You see we lived 5 miles out into the country and before obtaining a driver’s license it was left up to her to make sure I had a ride home. She also worked many part-time jobs to help bring in a little extra money to make sure I could participate yet was home when I needed her to help me with homework.
I also remember a wonderful trip to Disneyland in California, SACRIFICING her time to save and make sure we had memories of a family vacation. We toured Hollywood, Knox Berry Farm and I remember I left a ring on the night stand and they turned around to go back to the hotel to get it. My Dad worked hard being a rancher and farmer to try and make ends meet and living off this precious land. Again many times Mother Nature left us with devastation of a spring blizzard or drought yet their faith, dedication and pure SACRIFICE day in and day has helped mold me into the person I am today. Being a wife, mother, Gigi and having a career there are times I too make a few SACRIFICES for those I love and respect. Certain holidays are important to me and Makin Special Memories is my ultimate goal.
I ran across this heartwarming story I felt lead to share:
After a few of the usual Sunday hymns, the church’s pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit and, before he gave his sermon that evening, he briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the service that evening. In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak. “A father and son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific coast,” he began, “when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.” The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story. The aged minister continued with his story. “Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life – to which boy he would throw the other end of the life line. He only had seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian and he also knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves. As the father yelled out, “I love you, son!” he threw the life line to his son’s friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered. By this time, the teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister’s mouth. “The father, he continued, knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he SACRIFICED his son to save the son’s friend. How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us. Our Heavenly Father SACRIFICED His only begotten Son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line He is throwing out to you.” With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal. Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side. “That was a nice story,” politely stated one of the boys, “but I don’t think it was a very realistic for a father to give up his only son’s life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.” “Well, you’ve got a point there,” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face. He once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But I’m standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me. You see, I was that father and your pastor is my son’s friend.”
As we celebrate this Easter weekend and the ultimate gift Christ gave…I hope you will reflect upon the word SACRIFICE and make sure your life is in order. Until next time my friend enjoy your weekend…