We are here today to sacrifice, for that is the meaning of our worship; as your spokesman Paul reminded us, we are to “offer (our) bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is (our) spiritual act of worship.” Remind us, O God, that in worship we are sacrificing ourselves, giving ourselves up, abandoning ourselves, emptying ourselves for your sake, for our sake, and for the sake of others. Remind us also that our worship which is our sacrifice is to take place all the time out in the world as well as here in the sanctuary.
We sacrifice ourselves for your sake because you have revealed yourself as the sacrificing God—you gave your only Son who emptied himself and who died on the cross for our sins. We sacrifice ourselves for your sake because you are our God and we want to obey you and you have told us to lay down our lives. We sacrifice ourselves for your sake because our calling and our heart’s desire is to be like Christ in the living of our lives and Christ lived a sacrificial life.
We sacrifice ourselves for our sake because we cannot be who or what you made us to be unless we live our lives in the way that you laid out for us. We sacrifice ourselves for our sake because your Son told us that only as we lose our lives can we find them. We sacrifice ourselves for our sake because we have seen firsthand in our own lives the price we pay when we choose instead to live lives based in pride and in self-centeredness.
We sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others because Jesus told us that the world would know that we belong to you by the love we show for one another. We sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others because we serve the Savior who came not to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many. We sacrifice ourselves for others because the words that St. Francis prayed are still true: “It is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”
Increase our faith, O Lord; increase our love, O Lord; increase our grace, O Lord—and let it be seen in our sacrifice for your sake, for our sake, and for the sake of others.
In the name of Jesus Christ the Perfect Sacrifice,