(December 2, 2012)

I thought I understood sacrifice.

But sitting at my desk Friday working my way through creating Bible lesson answer keys, I discovered I didn’t.

“Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hast cast more in, then all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”*

All that she had.

This was her last two coins**.
She had nothing more to give.
She had nothing more to live on.

She gave all that she had.

For by giving her last coins, she gave her life.
Where would her next meal come from?
Where would she find the means to live?

I look down the ages. I see people giving all that they had.

Jesus, who gave His life
The apostles, many of whom gave their lives a martyr’s death, were persecuted, spent their lives in and out of prison.
Moses, who was willing to die rather than see the people of Israel exterminated.
The reformers, many of whom died at the stake for the sake of the Gospel.
Those who today fight against the darkness, against the chains of another… with everything that they have and beyond.

Sacrifice is not giving out of my excess. It is not giving out of what I can live without.

But it is giving what I cannot live without.
It is giving my last hope of life.
It is giving my last breath.
It is giving away my last morsel of food (and not knowing where more will come from).
It is giving my life.
It is giving what is rightfully mine.
It is still giving when I am weak and exhausted and depleted of anything to give.

It is giving all that I have (and beyond)…

And nothing less.

*Mark 12:43,44
** Verse 42