The "Seven Deadly Social Sins" according to M. Ghandi include the sin of "Worship without sacrifice". Some Christians might wonder if this is even a sin. I've worshiped many times without sacrificing, does it matter? When was the last time you saw a animal slaughtered or food burned in church?
In most cultures worship involves sacrifice--indeed even ancient Hebrew culture of the Old Testament. Whenever God would bless his people they would worship by offering sacrifices upon an altar to Him. Abel, Noah, Abraham, and many others expressed their devotion and love to God in this way.
After God rescued Israel from Egypt He instructed Moses to build a portable temple called the tabernacle where His presence would dwell and His people would come to worship Him. The place in this tabernacle where the average Israelite could worship was at the altar of burnt offering. There they could offer animals and grain as sacrifices to be burned on the altar, but a usable portion was given for the priests to eat. In this way the offerings that the Israelites gave were similar to the money we place in the offering plate to sustain the church.
The purpose of these sacrifices was to point towards the sacrifice God made for us, when He gave His Son to die for our sins. He was the perfect sacrifice, and as such we can easily get the idea that sacrifice doesn't play a role in the Christian worship. We tend to worship for what we can get out of the experience, rather then thinking about worship as an activity where we give. Is there still room for sacrifice in the Christian experience
Yes. The apostle Paul wrote: "Present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Rom. 12:1)Â In response to God's total sacrifice for us, how else can we demonstrate love back to Him? This is what it means to worship--to give every part of ourselves over to God's will.
This sermon was actually inspired by a one of my blogs (Seven Deadly Social Sins), not the other way around.