Heart of Hanscom: Sacrifice – May 12, 2024

The passage from Luke is commonly called the Good Samaritan. Through this story, this parable, Christ teaches a multi-faceted lesson about everyone being our neighbor, the expected and unexpected, the people we agree with and disagree with, everyone is our neighbor. But that lesson is not the only one this scripture teaches us. It is a deeply layered scripture teaching us not only whom we love but how we love. In fact, another name we might give this parable could be the Sacrificial Samaritan.


Now, if I’m honest, until recently, I really really disliked the word sacrifice. It always felt like a word loaded with pain and suffering. Over the years, I’d heard it used in mostly unhealthy ways. When people, most frequently women, were told the sacrifices they were going to make or needed to make or should make. Or the explanation that it isn’t a sacrifice if it doesn’t hurt, it if doesn’t, hit you. To me, I’d never heard anything that would make me go, yay sacrifice, so I tried to avoid the word. But then I learned where the word sacrifice comes from. We trace its history through Old French and Latin, where it’s root means to make holy, or to be made holy. You can even see or hear it, sacrifice has the same root as sacred. At its core, at its deepest meaning, sacrifice is something sacred, it is about giving of something out of love, for love. And we can recognize that core meaning of sacrifice in Luke 10.


The Samaritan gives sacrificially. The Samaritan loved his neighbor by giving of his time, his finances, his material resources, and his care. “But when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. 34 The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, tending them with oil and wine. Then he placed the wounded man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day, he took two full days’ worth of wages and gave them to the innkeeper. He said, ‘Take care of him, and when I return, I will pay you back for any additional costs.’” What the Samaritan did was holy and sacred, it was sacrificial. When we give in love, give of our time, talent, resources, and selves, that is making holy. A sacrifice is something sacred, something we make holy by giving to love God, love our neighbor, and even love ourselves. Our Romans passage affirms this understanding. “I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God.” A sacrifice is not just a dead animal given to the temple or burnt as an offering. We can live a sacrificial life. A life shaped by giving, extending our hearts, our time, our resources to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.


When I think of sacrificial giving, I think of relationships, friendship and romantic, children and parents or caregivers.

Getting up at 4am to take child ice skating lessons

Practicing music in the car between wrestling meets

Emotional and physical

Where you live

What jobs, work


When I think about sacrificial giving, I think of you, I think of this church.

Garage Sale – time that day; 8 hours a day for 5 days; baking

Block Party – planning, donations, time that week setting up, the time that day


All People’s Pantry – physical space, time, finances

Even our Expanding the Heart of Hanscom campaign. It is a sacrificial project. To remodel this building for accessibility is a sacrifice. It has been already, as people have given hours upon hours of their time and hearts and energy to plan, communicate, and craft how we can better love God and love our neighbor through this project. It will continue to be a sacrificial project as we each ask the question, God how am I called to be a part of this project, how are you inviting me to expand the heart of our church? We will not all have the same answer to that question, but I believe, if we prayerfully ask that question, there will be an answer and that answer will be our sacrifice for this project.


What God does through this church, would not happen without y’all giving from your heart, to love God and love your neighbor. It would not happen without your sacrifice.


So, what’s the take away? What is God’s encouragement, challenge, or invitation to you this week?

Maybe it is to allow this definition of sacrifice to soak in, to embrace it. Maybe it is to recognize the opportunities you have to present your life as a living sacrifice, to have your life shaped by giving to love God and to love others.


When we give in love, give of our time, talent, resources, and selves, that is sacrificial giving. A sacrifice is something sacred, something we make holy by giving to love God, love our neighbor, and even love ourselves.

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