As we prepare for Resurrection Sunday this Holy week, we can participate in Jesus' mission of new life. While our standard Easter celebrations are often self-gratifying, perhaps we could embrace the nature of our celebration and offer life through sacrifice.
We act mercifully because we have been mercifully acted upon. "In view of these mercies...offer yourselves as living sacrifices." In no small way is the power of Resurrection to be passed on. Through one supremely sacrificial act, the entire trajectory of world history was altered, the order of things flipped and life triumphed over death. Thus, through us and our acts of sacrifice, we are joining in on the party. We align ourselves with Jesus' upside down kingdom where power and authority is found in submission and meekness.
So, how are we to practice Resurrection? We are to die so that others may live. Instead of conceding to the rat-race we find ourselves in, we stop seeking self-fulfillment and begin to give ourselves away. It took an act of God to shift the tide and it is an act of God in our hearts that will save us from ourselves.
This Resurrection life, this self-giving-away life is to be totally consuming, yet it must start somewhere. There are several practical ways to live this out and it starts in the simple yet supreme command: love your neighbors. We must decrease so that they can increase. On a larger scale, we can align ourselves with groups that promote resurrection throughout the world.
One such organization is Little Rock's own, Heifer International. I've blogged about them before but I want to give them another plug. Through giving that hardly amounts to sacrifice for the average American household, Heifer provides much needed aid for developing communities across the world. Watch the video below for a brief explanation of how this works
This Easter, you can join Heifer's efforts by participating in their Hatch Hope Campaign. As they put it: "This Easter, put eggs in someone else's basket and hatch hope for a family in need. When you give a gift of livestock and training in their care, you are providing a way for families in need to lift themselves out of poverty and into lives of dignity and self-reliance."
Maybe this Sunday we can celebrate Resurrection not through over-consumption of chocolate but through life-giving sacrifice.