What is Sacrifice?
Sacrifice means to be up for doing something that may be hard in order to achieve something else.
Can you think of examples of sacrifice?
– a parent who sacrifices a holiday or some good stuff to send their child to school and have the right equipment
– a young person who sacrifices their seat on a bus so an old lady can sit down
– a person who’s so committed to DJ-ing that they sacrifice going out with their mates in order to practice to fulfill their dream
– the youth worker who puts loads of time and energies into working with young people because they believe in the young people’s value
That is what sacrifice is. It’s something amazing that we should all think about doing because it’s amazing and makes life more valuable.
You can vary this – even use a computer animation or game if available.
At the front of the stage there are 5 shoe boxes with their lids on. Each box has a number, 1 to 5 (funnily enough). In each box is a different prize. The prizes will be stuff within your budget and of equal worth. So for example – a Mars Bar, a Crunchie, a Snickers, a Kit Kat and a Dairy Milk.
There is also another box to the side of these 5 boxes. Hidden in this box there are 5 prizes, numbered a, b, c, d, e. These prizes are varied in what they are –
a. £1 coin
b. £10 note
c. A sock
d. A plastic bag
e. A snorkel (or something random)
Get 3 volunteers from the audience. They get to pick a box and open it (or you open it and bring the contents to them – depending on the situation). They win what is in that box. However, the prize stays in the opened box, which is put to one side.
The 3 volunteers play the game one by one and stay at the front with their prize. Then one by one the contestants are asked if they would like to sacrifice what they have for what’s in the other box.
Those who keep their original prize go and sit down. Those who want to sacrifice have to choose a letter – a, b, c, d or e. The contestant then wins the prize relating to that letter. You take out the prize, keeping the other prizes hidden!
Christians believe that there was a man called Jesus and that he died on a cross and then rose again and went back up to heaven. It may sound strange but Christians believe this is true and that Jesus brought a message of hope, of love and of being able to get right with God.
Know what? Christians believe the Bible which tells us that Jesus gave his life for me and you and the world, he also gained something… He helped people get right with God.
It’s like this: there’s a place called Death Valley in the USA, which is as dry as a bone! It looks like there is no life. But very rarely it rains. One time when it rained, loads of flowers came out. They had been there in seed form all the time but just needed the rain to come into bloom. Christians believe that is what Jesus does – turns death into life and bad into good.
(See Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Valley )
So when Jesus sacrificed all this, he gained so much more.
We die only once, and then we are judged. So Christ died only once to take away the sins of many people. But when he comes again, it will not be to take away sin. He will come to save everyone who is waiting for him.Hebrews 9.24
Christians believe that we should always think about sacrifice and not about being selfish because when you sacrifice something, God gives back loads more than what you sacrificed.
Let’s go back to our first few examples and see how sacrifice can make a difference:
1. The parent who sacrifices a holiday or some good stuff to send their child to school with the right equipment may get a reward in seeing their child fulfil their potential and do what they really want to do in life..
2. The young person who sacrifices their seat on a bus so an old lady can sit down may find they feel good about helping someone. I once helped an old lady and she gave me £10!
3. The person who’s so committed to DJ-ing that they sacrifice going out with their mates in order to fulfill their dream may well find their way into getting DJ bookings and then who knows..
4. The youth worker who puts loads of time and energies into working with young people because they believe in the young people’s value – will get reward from seeing some of the young people do some very cool stuff.
Although we often get back what we sacrificed in another way, it’s also really good to go round and do stuff for other people without expecting anything back.
Show a clip from Pay It Forward. The clip starts around 30:44 – 33:00 with a homeless guy helped by Trevor (the star of the movie) explaining to Trevor’s mum that Trevor helped him. It then cuts to Trevor explaining the idea of ‘pay it forward’.
Note the movie does have Kevin Spacey in playing the teacher.
The pay it forward principle is this:
You help 3 people, 3 strangers, for no reason but to help them, they then have to help 3 other people.. before you know it this idea of ‘pay it forward’ reaches loads of people.
The life of sacrifice is a life that isn’t just good for others, it’s also good for you!!