Monday, December 06, 2010
The Necessity of Sacrament
"How do we grow beyond being just spiritual babes?" is a question asked in this wonderful piece from Our Daily Bread.Amen and Amen!
The answer given by Bill Crowder, the piece's author, is to regularly meditate on God's Word and to devote ourselves to prayer.
I would add one more element to that answer, something which is indispensable to the growth of our relationship with Christ and which is pure gift. It's regularly receiving the body and blood of Jesus in Holy Communion.
In Holy Communion, Christ both bodily and spiritually imparts Himself to us and in God's mysterious way, works within us, making us over into His image.
One of my least favorite things about the so-called "contemporary" worship practices is how the sacramental is reduced to the ordinary. Whether we hold the two sacraments of most modern protestants or the seven of Catholicism, there needs to be some place that is extraordinary - some place where my will, being and pleasure is secondary.
As Mark rightly points out, the sacraments are about God working in us, not us doing something for God. That's going to be uncomfortable - it has to be or else I have a hard time believing that we are letting God do His work. It is not comfortable to go to the doctor - it is certainly not comfortable to have surgery - being "fixed" hurts in some sense.
When we wrk to make the sacramental "accessible" we make that which is about God about us - big mistake.