The Chicken or the Pig



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Leviticus 1:1–3

The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When anyone among you brings an offering to the Lord, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.

“‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord.’”


Have you ever had a young child come to your door asking for food donations because they were doing a service project for the local food pantry? Confession time. I have been known, in the past, to go into the kitchen and collect the cans of beans and peas that no one in the family wanted and hand them over to the young person at my door as if I was making an important contribution to the cause. How embarrassing to admit that I chose the least desired items as my offering to a local organization whose sole purpose was to feed hungry families.

This is a new week in our Lenten journey and we will focus on being altar’d by surrendering control and embracing complete commitment. In the book of Leviticus, we read about five different offerings that God asked the Israelites to place on their altar as a sacrifice. The first and most often provided was the burnt offering or the ‘olah. In the passage, the Lord specifically required a male without defect which would have required them to let go of something of great value. Depending on the circumstances, it might have even been painful to surrender this animal to God and if we are honest, it often feels painful to let go of control of our lives. Yet God asked His people to willingly surrender their best, not the can of lima beans from the back of the pantry.

The burnt offering would have been not only the best but would have been complete. It required that every part of the offering was given as a sacrifice, and nothing was held back. It’s the difference between a chicken and a pig. Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the chicken and the pig who wanted to go into business together. They decided to open a breakfast shop where they would offer eggs and bacon. It didn’t take long before they realized that for their business to be successful, the chicken would be involved through her activity, but the pig would be committed through his sacrifice.

For our lives to be transformed, we must embrace a life of surrender through our complete commitment. Jesus, as He was being questioned by the teachers of the law on which is the greatest commandment, quoted God’s words to Moses saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5). Did you notice the word “all”? As Christ-followers, we are asked to be like a burnt offering, laying our whole selves on the altar and not holding anything back. We are to give our best and to give our all. This journey of the Lenten season prepares us for our everyday walk with Christ. To be changed and consumed by the Lord, we must be willing to surrender control and embrace commitment.


Lord, we want to be wholly consumed by You. Help us learn how to surrender ourselves to You completely so we may be used by You for Your glory. Amen.


What would your best offering look like today? Are you willing to hand it over to God without any reservations? Why do you think God would ask for something of such high worth and not leave it up to us to decide what to give?

For the Awakening,
Susan Kent 

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. Awesome Devotional, just so happens, on this day I was teaching Sunday School and we were talking about Cain’s offering, this is perfect. I’m going to share this with the group.

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