Over the next handful of days I want to tease out some thoughts on the sacraments. In the Protestant tradition we have two sacraments: baptism and the eucharist. I think that these two means of grace are essential for the church today and that they have been largely ignored or abused. The sacraments do not bring salvation. They are however means of grace.
This means quite simply that we experience something beautiful, authentic, and Christ-centered in their celebration. In an age where we talk about “multi-sensory” preaching and object lessons it is as if we have forgotten the beauty and raw power that is to be found in these ancient acts that tie us to “the great cloud of witnesses”.
A couple of years ago I wrote a few posts on these issues. One of them was an argument for paedobaptism and I would encourage you check it out. I also wrote a post on communion that lays out some initial thoughts and in the comments a friend suggested that I dig deeper. I hope these next days my metaphorical shovel will reach a new depth.
Before writing in earnest I want to say thanks to Eugene Peterson (not that he’ll ever read this). His text, Christ Plays in 10,000 Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology has been really helpful in shaping some of my thoughts about both baptism and communion. When possible I will give him credit but so much of what he has written has become a part of my own views and sometimes I may not be sure where his thoughts begin and mine end.
To kick things off, I am curious do you remember your first communion? What was it like? Did it mean anything to you?