Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

The Sacraments: Signs, Seals, Gifts of Sheer Grace

Message Series: Feasting on the Heidelberger!

The Sacraments: Signs, Seals, Gifts of Sheer Grace

LD 24-30

Download the Heidelberg Catechism Notebook, LD 24-30 PDF

As human beings, we engage in ‘sacramental’ activities without even realizing it.  We tend to memorialize significant events in our lives… we form sentimental feelings and memories around people and places.  For example, Deone and I, for years, would go to a place called Glen Arbor in the state of Michigan.  It’s a sleepy tourist town in lower Northern Michigan where sand dunes, pristine woods, and crystal clear rivers abound.  It’s a place we went on our honeymoon, and have returned too many times.  It’s something we had always looked forward to in our yearly rhythm, as every fall, when the air turns crisp, and the leaves turn brilliant colors, Deone and I would escape the daily routine of work, school, raising our kids each fall and run away to Glen Arbor together and focus on enjoying one another intentionally, more intimately.  

It’s a celebration of our marriage wrapped up in an event with all kinds of good memories attached to it that continue to shape our relationship in the present, and into the future.  So why get all ‘sappy’ in a weekly church email?  

This Sunday, we will focus on ‘sacraments.’  Sacraments are ceremonies, practices, that embody the truth of an intimate relationship with God.  

Sacraments are ceremonies, practices, that embody the truth of an intimate relationship with God.

They represent and embody God’s sharing of his divine grace with us.  It represents particular importance and significance.  In the Christian church, we celebrate two important and significant sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

We do not celebrate these sacraments in a vacuum where they become mostly memorialized.  We celebrate these sacraments in the journey of life and relationship with God that is ongoing, remembering the past, celebrating the present, and hopeful about the future.  They celebrate who we are and whose we are in Jesus Christ.  ‘Whose’ is defined as belonging to a particular someone, in the case of the sacraments, that someone is God.  The sacraments celebrate our longing for God and our belonging to a family: the family of God.  In Baptism, we are ‘reborn’ into God’s family.  In the Lord’s Supper, we share God’s grace and mercy together as God’s family.        

Sunday we will revel in God’s divine grace in the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper – ‘signs and seals‘ of God’s love and grace.  It’s a fitting time to celebrate our Baptism and the Lord’s Supper in remembering the past, the shaping of our present, and our hope for the future.  So who are you?  Whose are you?  To what, how, and why do you belong?  Come, taste and see, the Lord our God is good.  The message will conclude with such a time of remembering and celebrating – see you Sunday!    

In Jesus name, Shalom and Amen.
   Pastor Mark