Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Heidelberg Catechism - Lord's Day 25 - Memorial Day Reflection

Here it is the day after Memorial Day, and how appropriate it is to talk about the Sacraments at a time like this. Just today I was at my Mom and Dad's house for lunch and an interesting surprise was revealed over the weekend while my Mom was cleaning and bumped the small bulletin board that is hanging on the wall next to the phone. This bulletin board has been in that same spot for years. They use it for phone numbers, messages, and little pictures of kittens and grandchildren, etc.

But, something had fallen from behind the bulletin board on this Memorial Day weekend. It was a Post Card dated 04/06/77. It was a postcard from my Brother Tim who died in October of that same year. That postcard had been behind that bulletin board for more than 30 years. It was neat to see his handwriting as he briefly talked about his visit to Texas with some classmates on a High school trip.

Oh how the memories come back so quickly and help me to remember my Brother and to somehow smile and reflect even though it is difficult to remember. So, it is with Baptism and Communion as we remember our Brother Jesus Christ. You know we are adopted sons of God and we have this Baptism to remember the Death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And the Communion that reminds us that He was here in a human body. He was divine but also had flesh, and he grew, learned, taught, cast out demons, raised the dead, he loved God with all his heart soul, mind, and strength. He also loved His neighbor as Himself... And He did all of that perfectly.

We also have the cup that holds the juice representing His blood. The PERFECT sacrifice. All the sacrifices up to that point could not satisfy a Righteous and Holy God. They could only point to His perfect sacrifice. So, He is our Great High Priest and His sacrifice puts an end to all the sacrifices and then He SITS DOWN by the right hand of God, because "It is Finished."

So, we are blessed to have these sacraments to remember Jesus life and sacrifice and also to share in this bond as a body of Christ with all the saints, even those who have gone before us.

Remember the word's of Jesus at His Baptism: I must do this to fulfill all righteousness.

And at the Lord's Supper: This is my body. This is my blood.

I'm sure this sounds strange to those outside the church talking about a body and blood. Sometimes the blood of a lamb. However, it should always be a sacred moment inside the church done humbly, honorably, and reverently.

Grace and peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!

The Sacraments

Lord’s Day 25
65. Since, then, we are made partakers of Christ and all His benefits by faith only, where does this faith come from?

The Holy Spirit works faith in our hearts1 by the preaching of the Holy Gospel,2 and confirms it by the use of the holy sacraments.3

1 Jn 3:5; Rom 10:17; 1 Cor 2:10-14; Eph 2:8; Php 1:29; 2 Rom 10:17; 1 Pt 1:23-25; 3 Mt 28:19-20; Rom 4:11; 1 Cor 10:16

66. What are the sacraments?

The sacraments are visible holy signs and seals appointed by God for this end, that by their use He may the more fully declare and seal to us the promise of the Gospel,1 namely, that of free grace He grants us the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life for the sake of the one sacrifice of Christ accomplished on the cross.2

1 Gen 17:11; Deut 30:6; Ezek 20:12; Rom 4:11; Heb 9:8-9; 2 Mt 26:27-28; Acts 2:38; Heb 10:10

67. Are both the Word and the sacraments designed to direct our faith to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross as the only ground of our salvation?

Yes, truly, for the Holy Spirit teaches in the Gospel and assures us by the holy sacraments, that our whole salvation stands in the one sacrifice of Christ made for us on the cross.1

1 Acts 2:41-42; Rom 6:3; 1 Cor 11:26; Gal 3:27; Heb 9:12

68. How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the New Testament?

Two: Holy Baptism1 and the Holy Supper.2

1 Mt 28:19-20; 2 1 Cor 11:23-26

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