Friday, February 11, 2011

More from C.S.


“Some people when they say that a thing is meant “metaphorically” conclude from this that it is hardly meant at all. They rightly think that Christ spoke metaphorically when he told us to carry the cross: they wrongly conclude that carrying the cross means nothing more than leading a respectable life and subscribing moderately to charities.” –C.S. Lewis, Miracles, Chapter 10

Some of us living in Northern Virginia have believed that living life sacrificially means buying a used car instead of new, or shopping at the outlets instead of paying retail. Somewhere along the way we have convinced ourselves that we are poor, humble, and sacrificial. Or that service is, similar to worship, something we do once a week for about an hour. It’s simply something we check off a list of things we’re supposed to do on the weekend. Go to church, wash the car, and serve in the nursery. We believe that when Christ said take up your cross, somehow, these sacrifices fit the bill.

I call B.S.

Crucifixion was intended to provide a death that was particularly slow, painful (hence the term excruciating, literally "out of the cross"), gruesome, humiliating, and public. For Jesus this was the act of giving His life away, quite literally.

There is no true and lasting joy in “suburban sacrifices”. No wonder our faith doesn’t feel deep and rich and real; because we’re not actually LIVING LIKE JESUS. There is little that is life giving and meaningful about buying a used car. There is much that is life giving and meaningful about really serving others. Living life like Christ did, pouring out of yourself, your money, and your gifts, your passions, your pain and your joy. Forging relationships with those who are not like you, people who don’t know Jesus the way you do; that is stretching. Giving up your time…isn’t it funny how we think our time is our own? Giving up “your time” your precious Saturday mornings or Friday nights to spend ministering to the needs of the hurting, lost, or simply needy people around you; that’s where the joy of living a sacrificial life comes from.

Where you need God like you never have before… there is joy.

Where you connect with the pain of Jesus in a real tangible way… there is joy.

Where you experience the hurt and rejection of Jesus… there is joy.

Where you walk along side someone through the pain of life… there is joy.

Where you witness a life changed for eternity… there is joy.

Where you put others needs before your own… there is joy.

I think there is joy in these sacrifices because we get a better picture of who God is. Isn’t that what Jesus came for, to reveal the truth of who God is? God is a sacrificing, ever-loving, holy and terrifying god that deserves a response.
How are you giving your life away for the sake of the Kingdom and its King?

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