Celebrating Sacrificial Love

       Several years ago Bridger Walker, age 6, and his 4 year old sister were playing at a friend’s house in Wyoming when a German Shepherd attacked them.  Bridger jumped in front of his sister and yelled for her to run as he fought and was mauled by the dog.  She was not injured.  He received 90 stitches for the injuries, mostly to his face. He later told someone, “If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.”   Most likely he saved his sister’s life.  You probably saw this story when it went viral.  A short time after the incident the World Boxing Council gave him an honorary championship status.  Our hearts are warmed when we see courage.  We admire and rightfully honor sacrificial love. 
      Every Sunday in our church as a part of our worship we celebrate sacrificial love.  Specifically, the stunning sacrificial love of Jesus Christ for all of humanity.  We participate in a simple ritual that Christians call the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper or Communion.  This ordinance is a time when we hit pause, still ourselves and focus on the cross of Jesus Christ.  My sin and yours eventually brings us physical and spiritual death.  We have defied God.  We have lied, lusted, and lived selfishly.  We tend to walk through life without gratitude towards our Creator.  Theologian R. C. Sproul liked to refer to sin as “cosmic treason.”  The Lord’s Supper was started by Jesus during his last meal with the apostles before his death.  He told them that the bread represented his body, and the wine represented his blood.  This symbolic meal helps us to appreciate and remember the great price that was paid for our forgiveness.      
      I do not know about you, but I am a forgetful person.  I am not alone; I knew a fellow minister who once forgot to show up to perform a wedding he had agreed to do.  How painful to forget someone’s special day.  That story is one reason I write appointments down.  I write tasks on post it notes on my desk.  If I do not have a prompt, I might forget.  Yes, some items do not matter that much if you forget, but wedding ceremonies, anniversaries and birthdays are a few of the things that need to be remembered and cherished.  Christian, remember what Christ did for you.  Appreciate the depth of His love for you.  Bread and juice are simple items intended to point to profound realities.  Whenever your church celebrates the Lord’s Supper, do not just go through the motions of the ritual.  Authentically connect with the one who loved you so much that He died for you.  Celebrate that the cross is not the end of the story but merely a step towards resurrection and eternity itself.  Sacrificial love is beautiful. We have received it; let us turn and offer it to others. 
Pastor Derek Dickinson
Journey Christian Church