The Sacraments: Gifts Of Grace
"He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength." - Acts 9:19
In the Protestant Christian church, we have two "sacraments" (and if you are Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, you have a few more). What is a "sacrament"? The word sacrament refers to something that is "sacred" and set apart in a way that somehow connects us to God.
The two sacraments celebrated in Protestant churches are baptism and the Lord's Supper. These are two practices that Jesus specifically told his followers to continue. And by these two sacraments God communicates his grace to believers. It is often said that sacraments are a "visible sign of God's invisible grace." And baptism and the Lord's Supper communicate different aspects of God's grace.
Baptism points to the washing away of sin. And when a believer goes down into the water and emerges, that person is following a path like Jesus, going down into death and rising up to a new, indestructible life. This is God's way of bringing sinful humans into his covenant family, the church, and marking them as his own.
And through the Lord's Supper, God gives us spiritual food to strengthen us in faith and sustain us in the Christian life. The Lord's Supper reminds us of the promises that God and the church make to us in our baptism.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the sacraments, by which you invite us into your family and then feed us at your table so that we can serve you in the world by the power of your love. Amen.