One of the central themes of the Christian season of Lent is sacrifice. During the 40 days leading up to Easter we prepare ourselves to commemorate the death of Jesus and to celebrate his glorious resurrection. As we live this 40 day journey we attune ourselves to the self-sacrificing nature of Jesus’ life and God’s willingness to become mortal for our own sake.
But what is sacrifice really about? Is it about giving up chocolate or meat? Or is it about something that’s really deeper than that? I believe that sacrifice is really about surrender. When we sacrifice we’re really making a choice to give up on the temporal things in which we misguidedly place our hope. And we do so in order that we might be more ready to place our full and complete trust in God, the only sure source of hope.
John Wesley summed up this idea when he prayed:
“I give myself completely to you, God. Assign me to my place in your creation. Let me suffer for you. Give me the work you would have me to do. Give me many tasks, or have me step aside while you call others. Put me forward or humble me. Give me riches or let me live in poverty. I freely give all that I am and all that I have to you…Amen.”
As we begin Lent this 9th day March, may we come to live out that prayer of John Wesley and begin to surrender ourselves completely to God.