When Sacrifice Becomes Mundane

February 26, 2021  •   Tracy Earl Welliver

Man with open arms to heaven

It seems to happen every year, like clockwork: we drag a bit, as we enter into the second week of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, we feel a bit like soldiers banging our shields, rushing into battle. “We’re ready, God!” our hearts cry out. “Transform us through sacrifice! Your will be done!”

But by now, these Lenten resolutions are no longer novelties — they’ve joined the ranks of everyday inconveniences, which somehow are the hardest to bear. Because transformation, in real life, happens in inches, just as a battle is won slowly in the crash of one sword against another. It’s not always a dramatic thing, to the naked eye. It’s the perseverance in prayer despite weariness, or the continual denial of some pleasure even though there’s that nagging voice in our minds saying: go ahead, God doesn’t really mind.

It’s a week when we all need a shock to the system — and wouldn’t you know it, this Sunday God gives us a double-whammy of dramatic sacrificial scenes. We picture Abraham, who also cried “Ready!” when God called, never imagining what He would ask: the surrender of his long-awaited son. We see Christ himself transfigured, as God shows us what He is ready to give up for love of us.

We must remain committed, persevering daily in acknowledging that everything belongs to God. What we sacrifice, we simply give back to Him.

If God is for us, who can be against us? Can we still reply, “Ready!” when we hear the call of God?

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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