Baptism and Eucharist

THE SACRAMENTS OF THE ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST.


WHAT ARE SACRAMENTS?

Christians have always experienced in certain actions and rituals a special encounter between God and humans. As the church took shape in late first century, two actions emerged as particularly significant: baptism and holy communion. These acts not only signify sacred things but also allow us to experience what no physical sense can perceive: God’s self-giving.

In the sacraments, the physical becomes a vehicle of the spiritual as the sign-act causes us to experience what it represents.

James White

The United Methodist Church recognizes two sacraments in which Christ himself participated: baptism and the Eucharist, also called the Lord’s Supper and Holy Communion.


COMMUNION - THE MEAL THAT MAKES US ONE

According to This Holy Mystery, The United Methodist Church’s official document on communion, “The Lord’s Supper reminds us that Jesus Christ is the host and that we participate at Christ’s invitation.” Jesus invites us to take part in the special meal he ate with his disciples the night before his crucifixion, and other meals he shared in homes and on hillsides.

“The term Holy Communion invites us to focus on the self-giving of the Holy God which makes the sacrament an occasion of grace, and on the holiness of our communion with God and one another,” This Holy Mystery continues.

Finally, “Eucharist, from the Greek word for thanksgiving, reminds us that the sacrament is thanksgiving to God for the gifts of creation and salvation.” Read More



BAPTISM - GOD'S GIFT TO US ALL

Water sustains life for humans, animals, and plants. We clean with warm water and relax in cool water. We find peace listening to the roar of the ocean or taking a stroll in the rain.

Water is also important to our life in the church.

In the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, “we are initiated into Christ’s holy church, … incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation and given new birth through water and the Spirit,” the Introduction to the Baptismal Covenant says. “All this is God’s gift, offered to us without price.”

The Bible teaches that God made human beings in the image of God, and all of creation to be good. Sin caused a “distortion of the image of God in us and the degrading of the whole of creation,” By Water and the Spirit, The United Methodist Church’s official statement on baptism, reports.

In baptism, we reject the power of sin and begin our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ.  Read More