As I was listening to the sermon this Sunday, all I could think of was hockey. In Romans 12, Paul spends a great deal of time explaining what it really means to be a genuine follower of Jesus. Right away, Paul addresses that, as Christians, we should be apart from the world, living a life of worship. Our lives should be living sacrifices for God. Everything we are, and everything we do should be done for Him as an act of worship.
As I sat listening to this sermon and as the congregation was being challenged to go “deep in Christ”, all I could think of were hockey players. Let’s face it: hockey’s a tough sport. You cannot be afraid to get hit by the puck, and the puck is no laughing matter. It’s a frozen chunk of solid rubber that’s traveling roughly 100 miles an hour. To make matters worse, the few seconds you do end up with the puck, you become target number one.
Hockey players aren’t small dudes. When you do have the puck, they’re going to do whatever it takes to separate you from it. You’re either going to end up sandwiched between a player and the boards, or you’re going to be hit so hard you won’t know what planet you’re on. Hockey players define what it means to be a living sacrifice. But what does Jesus mean when he tells his followers to be living sacrifices?
Being a living sacrifice means living your best.
Hockey players are always shifting from the bench, to the ice, and back to the bench. The average time a hockey player spends on the ice is less than a minute at a time. But the time they do spend playing, is a time when they give it their all. Being a living sacrifice for Jesus means living our best all the time. We can’t let our guard down. We have to be at the top of our game. That’s what it means to be a living sacrifice.
Being a living sacrifice means worship.
A life of sacrifice has purpose. Hockey players aren’t sacrificing their time, their health, and their teeth for nothing. There’s purpose behind their sacrifices. When it comes to being a living sacrifice for Jesus, there’s purpose behind that too, and that purpose is worship. If we live our lives sacrificially, we are living lives of worship. Worship shouldn’t be something we do for an hour or two on Sunday mornings. It’s not something we do while we’re listening to our favorite worship album in the car. Worship should be done all day, every day by the lives we live.
Being a living sacrifice for Jesus is kind of similar to playing hockey. You put your best foot forward, and you do it purposefully. Jesus was a living sacrifice for us. The least we can do is be a living sacrifice for Him! Go deep in Christ this week. Be a living sacrifice. Don’t forget to cheer for your favorite hockey team this playoff season, and leave a comment below about how you have been living a life of worship this week.
(Photo by Flickr User: Just a Prairie Boy)