Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sunday, July 1

We will begin a study for the next two weeks on the sacraments. July 1 will be "Experiencing Communion" in which we will examine the Biblical roots of our modern day practice, and we will center the whole service around the experience of the eucharist. Scriptures will be Mark 14.22-25, Matthew 26.26-29, Luke 22.17-20, Acts 2.42, 46-47, and 1 Corinthians 10.15-17, and 11.17-26. Sacrament refers to a means of grace. Some denominations do not use the word, holding that grace is only bestowed by God, and there is nothing we can do to invoke it. Others want to be sure to communicate that both communion and baptism are purely symbolic acts with no inherent power or meaning in themselves. United Methodists believe that God does act in communion and in baptism. Grace is indeed imparted to those who participate in the sacraments. This is not magic. This is not human manipulation of the divine. This is God responding to his people when they honor God by observing the sacraments. You can read "This Holy Mystery" which is the result of a United Methodist study on communion, published in 2004. On July 8, we will consider "Remember Your Baptism". There is a United Methodist study on baptism also, "By Water and the Spirit".

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