Doing sacrifice

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         Every priest stands day after day at his service,
         offering again and again the same sacrifices
         that can never take away sins.
         But Christ has perfected for all time
         those who are sanctified.

                  —Hebrews 10.11, 14

Our modern version of the sacrifice— the ritual action performed over and over again in order to deal with our inadequacy before God —is not the slaughter of animals, but our busyness. Some little god in us, some demanding voice, believes that we need to accomplish, control and experience a lot of things. We need to make ourselves useful. We need to cover the sacrificial altar of our lives with all that we’ve done. We are afraid that that little god in us would be displeased if we just sat there.

But we are set free from that. We don’t have to do everything. We don’t have to rush around. We don’t have to over-function, overachieve, over-schedule. In fact, we don’t have to do anything. We’ve already been perfected and made holy (“sanctified”). We can stop the slaughter of the innocent animal of our time and mindfulness.

Look at Christ: he not only gave up his ministry (think what miracles he could have done had he escaped the cross!), but he gave up his life, not to accomplish, but to simply be. And though his doing ended in death, his being went right on beyond death. That’s how free we are: like those who have already died and gone to heaven, we don’t have to do anything. Just be. We don’t have to offer the sacrifice of doing again and again. It turns out that an infinite number of angels can dance on the head of a pin, but they’re not that driven.

Yeah, I know, I have a lot on my to-do list, too. But don’t forget the one sacred thing on your to-be list. If we take time every day to remember that our holy calling is to be, not to do, then the things we do will be holy, and not so neurotic. We don’t have to crowd our whole life onto the head of a pin: we have space to dance all over heaven.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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