Sunday, February 19, 2017

Week #31:  A holiday within a holiday—only in Malaysia: February 7, 2017 – February 13, 2017

In Malaysia, it seems like every weekend is a holiday. Holidays from Malaysia, China, India, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism are all celebrated here. This past week, Chinese New Year FINALLY ended! Chinese New Year lasts for 2 weeks in Malaysia. Meanwhile, there was another Hindu holiday that was celebrated within the week called Thaipusam. It's a crazy holiday that represents sacrifice. People walk a long distance (3-5 miles), barefooted, to a Hindu temple. Many of the people also wear hooks with bells hanging down and put large rings through their mouths and noses. It was crazy!! This was all done in order to show love, diligence, and sacrifice.

Penang Countryside
So why do we sacrifice? Last Sunday we discussed this topic in Sunday School. Religion often requires a sacrifice in some form. Perhaps we sacrifice our time, perhaps our money. Over time, I have learned that we sacrifice out of love. If we truly love someone, we will spend our time with them. We will spend money to buy them the things they need or want. Whatever it is, love is the compelling factor that makes us willing to sacrifice. That is all God asks of us--to love Him. Think of the person you love the most. What are you willing to give them? Probably anything, even your life. Heavenly Father loved us just the same, that He was willing to give His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus loved us so much He was willing to give His life. This was the greatest form of sacrifice. Because Heavenly Father loved you first, what are you now willing to give Him?

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