Sacrifice, a Door to Wisdom
Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United! I’m so glad you could join us today for a little break! Grab your favorite beverage, your Strand of Faith and if you can, your Bible. We’re going to have a little fun today with the word sac·ri·fice!
When you see that word, what’s your first thought? Is it a positive thought or a negative thought? This three-syllable word is definitely a huge part of being a Christian but I know it causes some of us to cringe, kind of like the word submit, or confess…I can think of a few other words that bring refinement for our hearts and walks as Christians, but let’s stay on track. I found this really cool quote by one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis: “No great wisdom can be reached without sacrifice.” So let’s see what this has to do with our learning how to neighbor those we come into contact with by returning to the story of The Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.
The next thing we read that the Samaritan did for his neighbor is he poured oil and wine on him. Now you might be thinking, oil and wine, sounds like a salad dressing! ☺ Believe it or not, there is some great significance in these two elements but let’s discuss first the sacrifices we see here. Grab your shovels and let’s do some digging.
We’ve all heard it said that if you want something done, ask a busy person; however, many of us may lean on the crutch of being too busy to stop and minister to our neighbor. But if the eyes of our heart are truly opened, compassion will send us into action, and action often requires a sacrifice.
The Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines sacrifice as: “the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.” What makes a sacrifice a true sacrifice is the cost and I don’t mean just monetarily!
What makes this sacrifice so sacrificial is the cost! It went against culture, against common sense and core beliefs!
Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone’s sacrifice? Have you ever been the one to sacrifice something? Keep in mind, a sacrifice doesn’t have to have a monetary value at all! Let’s look at the Samaritan’s sacrifices. The first sacrifice we see demonstrated here is the sacrifice of time, which we will get more in-depth in our upcoming Mondays. The next sacrifice we see is the Samaritan giving of his supply of oil and wine. Who knows how long the Samaritan had to go to get to his final destination, but this verse makes it clear: he didn’t even stop to think about it; he was moved into action and began doing the next thing, cleaning the wound…for a potential enemy!
Here’s an important truth to take with us in this parable and in our mantra to neighbor: We can’t give what we haven’t received! Now let’s figure out what significance the oil and wine play in this parable as well as in our own lives. There are literally hundreds of scripture references with an incredible amount of spiritual significance about wine and oil in both the Old and New Testament. It was a common practice to clean wounds with oil and wine. The two most common symbolisms are the thread from the Old to the New and they are analogous to these things: The oil is representative of new life, in other words, our new life in Christ, which is now fit for…the wine, which is analogous to the Holy Spirit. Both of these ingredients, if you will, are essential to the exercise of loving our neighbor. We cannot love or serve our neighbor the way we are called to without being in Christ and prompted by His Spirit.
Romans 12:1 tells us we are to be living sacrifices. What does being a “living sacrifice” look like to you? I can tell you what it doesn’t look like: The walking dead! We are more alive when we are open to divine opportunities to neighbor, because it means we aren’t just living by our own agenda.
Each of us has certain talents and gifts that we are to offer up as a sacrifice unto others. This is the pouring out of the oil and the wine! Pray for opportunities to exercise a sacrifice this week.
Learning how to sacrifice what to sacrifice!