The idea of “making an offering” is strange to many nowadays. When I learned about Greek mythology in ninth grade, I got the idea that people made offerings in a vain attempt to buy the goodwill of one of the gaggle of fickle, self-centered, childish gods and goddesses who seemed to take perverse pleasure in wreaking havoc on humans.
That kind of offering doesn’t make sense in the context of an all-loving God. We can’t buy God’s love with an offering since God gives love freely, generously. Realizing this changes the kind of offering we make.
We start to see that giving our whole selves to God is the most grateful response we can offer. So we bring our best talents, hopes, and dreams to the altar, and we also bring those parts of our lives that need divine intervention. This God takes artistic pleasure in creating a new life with us and within us.
And God begins, “My beautiful child, I love that you want to offer yourself to me. I want what’s best for you. As we envision what that looks like, notice how much anger you are holding right now. See how wrath is tearing you apart? I want you to feel whole. Go, reconcile with your sibling. After you take that step, return with your heart at peace and we’ll continue our work. This is the path to joy.”
When has a grievance that you were having with someone distracted you from worship? What step towards reconciliation might God ask you to make today?
God, we want to offer you our whole selves, but what will you create in us? Give us the courage we need for the work of creating peace and beauty with you. Amen.