Brokenhearted Theology, Church, Leadership, Meaning, Ministry, Quotes, Ramblings, Reading Reflections

Eugene Peterson on Sacrifice

I don’t know of any part of the Christian gospel that is more difficult [than sacrifice] to move from the pages of sacred Scripture and our honored volumes of theology into the assumptions and practices of our everyday Christian lives. Very few among us would dissent from what Jesus said, what Paul wrote, what Calvin preached, and yet – and yet when it comes down to actual assent, we more often than not find another way. We begin our morning prayers with Jesus, “Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet…” (Mark 14:36). And our “yet…” trails off; instead of completing Jesus’ prayer (“Not what I want but what you want”) we begin entertaining other possibilities. If all things are possible for the Father, perhaps there is another way to do something about what is wrong with the world, a way by which I can help out and make things better other than through a sacrificial life.

In the jargon of the day, we pray: “sacrifice is not one of my gifts – I want to serve God with my strength, with my giftedness.” It’s a strange thing, but sacrifice never seems to show up on anyone’s Myers-Briggs profile.


– Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, 218-219.


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