Examining a Sacrifice of Radical Faith at Christmastime

Today’s Hot Drink of Choice: Starbucks’ Christmas Blend

Today’s Scripture: By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. – Hebrews 11:17-19

I’ve been on an extended hiatus from blog writing. It’s now Christmastime, and I’m back!

Before the break, I was examining Hebrews 11. I left off with the above passage. This week I’ve again been thinking about what it means to have the kind of faith that leads to incredible sacrifice. We see this kind of faith in Abraham and Isaac’s story. We can also draw some easy parallels between it and the story of a baby king.

Many Christians are in the midst of celebrating the season of advent. Christmas Day is just around the corner. We’re in the midst of a time of year when hearts and minds are focused on the joy associated with the birth of Christ. The more I live my life as a Christian, however, the more I’m convinced there is a certain measure of personal sacrifice required to help recognize the reality of the true joy we celebrate this season. As I’ve been reminded again this Christmas, receiving a gift means something, somewhere was spent to make it happen. Abraham was prepared to spend the life of his own son. God made sure he didn’t have to by giving the gift of a ram instead. Years later, God would make the ultimate sacrifice of a heavenly son so that all of creation could be reconciled back to himself.

The way God writes His love story to humanity has always amazed me. Nowhere else can you find so many unexpected twists and turns as a mere boy defeats all odds to walk the earth and become one of the most intriguing and celebrated individuals of all time. Christ’s story of crazy love for those who then killed him by one of the most horrific methods to ever exist speaks of supernatural perseverance and unconditional passion. It speaks of deep humility that could only have been born in a manger. We have many examples throughout Scripture, such as Abraham laying his son on an altar, of what it means to have sacrificial, radical faith. However, I have discovered only one perfect plot to emulate… and it began to the tune of donkey brays and angelic hallelujahs. The life ushered into this world by such an unusual musical score would look and sound even odder as it matured. Jesus Christ of Nazareth would walk this world embracing rejection and sacrifice at an inhuman level; his love for those around Him unwavering in its purpose.

As we enter into this holiday season, let’s look toward the awesome example of a God willing to be made into flesh to inspire our faith. It is my prayer this Christmas that the reality of Christ’s example would deepen your faith and that you would have a peaceful, joyful time of celebration with those God has placed in your life. May you be inspired by the baby boy born so long ago to enter into the new year braver, bolder, and more committed to knowing God on a personal level.

Christmas Blessings,

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