Cale Clarke argues that adoring God and thanking God are one in the same—we can’t adore our Creator without thanking Him for all He has given to us. Maybe you say thank you, but how can you show your thanks?
“How can we, in practical terms, thank Him in action? We do that by offering Him a sacrifice. Because as St. Josemaría says, ‘Love is deeds, not sweet words,’” explained Cale.
This is why all types of worship have included sacrifice. “All worship of gods, throughout all the millennia, no matter what culture you’re talking about—even if they had bad ideas about who or what God is—every type of worship throughout the history of humanity involves some sort of sacrifice. Tragically, some people have greatly misunderstood this.”
What is the point of sacrifice? We are giving back to God something from the gifts that He has given to us. God doesn’t need these burnt offerings; He has everything He needs. But it’s a way to say thank you for the love and generosity of God by offering Him something in return.
No, we aren’t saying that you should sacrifice your firstborn to God. You need not slaughter an ox or a goat or pigeon. In fact—please do not do any of these things!
“We ultimately offer Him not a burnt offering on the altar, but our hearts! We offer Him our love, we offer Him our very selves,” said Cale.
Saint Paul says in Romans 12:1, “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.”
Offering yourself as a living sacrifice means offering your whole self to God: your prayers, words, and actions; your pains and sufferings; your joys and triumphs.
The problem with living sacrifices, says Cale, is they can always crawl off the altar. But even though you will stumble, you can always come back to walk with God.
So, no, God isn’t looking for the fatted calf or a basket of fruit. What God really wants as a sacrifice is for you to change your life. To live a life that is holy and pleasing to God and walk with Him in all of your ways.
Listen for more:
Tune in to the Genesis Series on The Faith Explained with Cale Clarke weekdays at 12:30-1pm CT only on Relevant Radio®.