Paul focused on the divisions that segregate us. In the twelfth chapter of Romans he wrote, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – which is your spiritual worship.”
Paul used this image of the body to represent the whole person, including ideologies and preferences. Living sacrifice signifies an ongoing, constant, all-inclusive submission. To sacrifice is to surrender for the sake of something or someone else. It is the act of giving up, offering up or letting go. The antonym of sacrifice is to hold on to.
A bunt in baseball is designated as a sacrifice for the purpose of advancing another runner. Executing this sacrifice is called laying down a bunt. What a challenging word picture for the church as it gathers together in communal worship.
- Lay down their preferences because they love those with whom they worship more than they love those preferences.
- Acknowledge that worship did not begin and will not end with the worship preferences of their generation.
- Admit it is arrogant to assume their favorite worship and God’s favorite worship are the same.
Charles Thomas Studd, an English missionary who served in China, India, and Africa had this statement as his motto: “If Jesus Christ is God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him.”
Dr. David Manner is the Associate Executive Director for the Kansas Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists. His convention responsibilities include worship consultation and leadership development. Before joining the convention staff in 2000, David served for 20 years in music/worship ministry with congregations in Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. David writes for various online and print publications and can be followed on Twitter @DWManner or on his Worship Evaluation Blog: http://kncsb.org/blogs/dmanner.