Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13: 15-16)
My first favourite thing about this small text is the fact that Paul calls these sacrifices here. What do we have to sacrifice? It got me sort of worried when I read that first, but after sitting on the text and praying about it, it sort of became clearer.
The sacrifice of praise to God makes me think of pride, and if we are to praise God, we need to let go of the idea that we ourselves are ‘better’ or ‘supreme’. It seems funny to say that, but I think we’re all there sometimes… thinking that we know what is best for ourselves, that we can make something work that is totally unworkable, that God will understand or help us out. 🙂 The awesome truth is though that God is ‘better’, ‘supreme’, and to learn to be like him, and to have what he has, we have to learn to let go of that pride, and accept instruction from God, who is the only one who knows how to do that. We have to be humble and learn to understand and accommodate him. Which is sometimes a sacrifice… of our own desire to be the coolest?
The next best thing is the second verse. It is awesome too… kind of parallel to the great commandments to love God and love other people, we need to praise God, and to do good and communicate with other people. I know that probably sounds like a bit of a ridiculous sacrifice too and we definitely struggle with this as well.
I feel we get so wrapped up in ourselves and what we want that we often forget about other people; that we need to serve them, help them and communicate with them. We forget sometimes that other people can’t read our minds and know our intentions and emotions. We have to translate what is in our head into a message of some sort so that they can participate in our thought processes and build relationships with us. A community can’t exist without talking to each other, it is important to note. So why not this week make the sacrifices necessary, and tell God and other people how much we appreciate them. Let’s praise, communicate, and do some good. 🙂