Thanks for stopping by today. Hmm, my mind is on the upcoming holiday, swirling with all the facades of romance. Grab your coffee, your red Strand of Faith and let’s go talk about sacrifice and Valentine’s Day!
Ah, so a little over a week ago, I took a little breather from what I was doing – actually I was cleaning out my email and there was a Groupon ad in there for whale watching in Newport Harbor, so I checked it out and thought, huh, this would be a fun thing to do for V-Day, and if I wait for my honey to do anything romantic… I may be disappointed. So, without reservation, I booked a reservation for a whale/dolphin watching cruise for February 14th, this Valentine’s Day. At least I knew we would do something “romantic.”
What does this have to do with sacrifice, you’re wondering? Well, I’m glad you wondered aloud because the sacrifice on my part is taking the burden from my husband and initiating the romance instead of always expecting him to do it! I’ll tell you, our men get a bad rap, having to not only provide the majority of anything which requires money, but also be romantic, too?
But as the days blurred into one another and this holiday is getting closer, I’m feeling a little nudge on my heart to include in our little excursion some single friends who are in their SOS, their season of singleness. Oh, I remember my SOS and how I would cringe with loneliness and a bit of resentment the closer we got to V-Day. It’s a difficult day/evening for single people, don’t you think?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for romance in marriage for that is where/when it is desperately needed. I just wonder what it is we sacrifice to make it what we want it to be. If I am honest with myself, especially since we no longer have kids at home, we could do something romantic any day of the week, seven days a week, any time of the month and many times throughout the year. Why do we need a holiday to tell us to be romantic?
Oh, but I need work in this area, to initiate that romance and do my part to keep the love alive … this would be a sacrifice for it would take me into waters unfamiliar, where my feet have never wandered, stretching me and increasing my stock in Spandex! I think I’ll ask my husband, without telling him what we’re doing what he thinks would be for the greater good!
So, let’s bring this whole sacrifice subject full circle, back to where we started a couple of days ago, with the verse found in Hosea 6:6 which resonates the words of Matthew 9:13: “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”
What in the world is Jesus saying? While religious “rules” can help us understand God and even nourish our relationship with Him, especially if we look at them as safety lines, they are only helpful if carried out, followed with an attitude of love for and an obedience to God. Jesus Himself showed concern (mercy) for others over ritualistic observances and legalistic behavior; the ultimate act of mercy demonstrated in His being unjustly accused … and saying nothing – talk about a sacrifice – His beatings and not saving Himself – again, a sacrifice within a sacrifice because every super hero we know comes to the rescue and brings a happy ending. Contrarily, Jesus didn’t save Himself; He gave Himself.
To truly know Christ is to know that He will stop at nothing to teach you everything. The only thing He asks for is your sacrifice, one piece at a time.
I think we’ve pretty much covered what we need to learn about the contexts of sacrifice. Join me tomorrow for Faith-Filled Fridays with Debbie, and next week for our February WOW! Then we will move into the actual Seven Sacrifices …