Sunday’s message is about sacrifice. Not the kind of topic that you buy ad space in the newspaper to promote and expect that people will actually come to hear.
But sacrifice—willingly giving up something of value for something considered to have a greater value—is at the heart of authentic Christian faith.
A couple of decades ago I read the autobiography of Lee Iacocoa. Seems like ancient history now, but at the time I was intrigued by Iacocoa’s leadership ability. He is credited with rescuing Chrysler Corporation from the jaws of bankruptcy. Here’s a passage that stuck with me.
I began by reducing my own salary to $1.00 a year…. If everybody is suffering equally, you can move a mountain…. I call this equality of sacrifice. When I started to sacrifice, I saw other people do whatever was necessary. And that’s how Chrysler pulled through. It wasn’t the loans that saved us, although we needed them badly. It was the hundreds of millions of dollars that were given up by everybody involved. It was like a family getting together…. I’m not talking about a Bible lesson here. I’m talking about real life. [Sacrifice] works. It’s like magic and it awes you.
Jesus put it like this: “Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.” Luke 9:24 (Message) This is what I’m going to talk about on Sunday: what it means to sacrifice.
I realize that I’m swimming upstream here. You and I live in a world where people think they are interested in comfort and convenience. Even the word sacrifice makes us cringe a little if you’re asking me to give up something.
But what Jesus is trying to show us is that when we catch a glimpse of something worth sacrificing for, that’s where real life begins to happen.