Vulture or carrion?
The choice seems obvious. Join the feeding frenzy or become the meat. Yet, what exactly does sacrificial living mean?
Jesus was pretty explicit.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
The next verse offers some clarification.
“You are my friends if you do what I command.”
Jesus is referring to laying down his life, but his expectation is that those who follow him then follow his example of sacrificial love.
Such living flies in the face of the world’s siren song of gorging on that which can never truly satisfy. Note later on in the chapter Jesus’ words about how the world will hate and persecute those who live in such a way.
If we are to eat flesh and blood, it is to be the broken body and blood of the crucified Christ. Anything else the world offers is simply another dead and decaying corpse.
Each and every day, we are to “present (our) bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is (our) spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1)
I can’t say exactly what that means for each of us. But for me, I have a suspicion that I may need to make some changes in my spiritual diet.
What have I been consuming? Am I laying down my life each and every day? Am I dying to my self and living in Christ?
To borrow nutritionist Victor Lindahl’s phrase,
“You are what you eat.”
A diet of the crucified Christ will change me.
And, as the martyred saints of old exemplify, such changes open me to a life of sacrificial giving, living and love.
Midweek Essays are posted every Wednesday. More information can be found on the publication schedule page.