NOVEMBER – a month which, at Frenchay Church, includes a Confirmation Service and an act of Remembrance. I don’t mean to forget other events that are taking place, but these 2 services have something in common – SACRIFICE.
Sacrifice is not a popular word in our culture. For many in our day, life is designed to be comfortable, convenient and without commitment. The Christian life is, however to follow Jesus Christ, which will inevitably involve personal sacrifice, as well as lots of personal enjoyment. The danger of being sold out on the idea of being a sacrificial Christian is that you do one of two things, both of which are a mistake.
The first danger is to not wait for God’s calling, but to believe that sacrificing must be God’s will whatever the circumstance. So we read Paul dissuading the Corinthians from this path “If I give all I possess to the poor…but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3) So there is a relationship of love with God which will mean that we hear His call to give of ourselves, and when we respond, it will be not just with money or time, but with our hearts full of the love God gives us.
The second danger is any attempt to take Christ’s place as the sacrifice for the sins of the world. Such a notion is not so way out as it may seem. It is possible that we might see ourselves as the only means somebody else will have of gaining life, hope or future prospects. In fact the privilege belongs to Christ, and to ignore or downplay His sacrifice is to place yourself in a position which is not yours to take, and which certainly cannot be fulfilled.
So, you have probably guessed by now how Confirmation links with sacrifice: it is the time when some of our fellow believers receive prayers and laying of hands by a bishop, for a life now fully confirmed in the promises made for them when they were much younger. That is a life of sacrificial discipleship, called by Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Remembrance-tide and sacrifice need no further explanation.
May our month of November be sacred (holy, set apart), and active in doing what God shows us to do. And may we all be blessed greatly in the process,