I am glad I am part of a community of faith that believes the sacraments are means of grace in our lives. I am strengthen deep within my soul when I come to the Lord’s Table and find there his flesh and blood given to me.
To be a sacramental Christian means to be part of a heritage and theology that goes back to the faith imparted by the apostles to the Church. It means to join with people who know that the bread and wine offered are actions of God rather than merely actions of human beings. Who believe the presence of grace is there with us as we come to the table.
I do not wish to denigrate the people who still hold to the beliefs I once held. It is their God given right to make choices they believe to be right practices. I must admit, I felt passionate about the idolizing the priesthood of the believer and the idealistic concept of autonomy for several years. However, as I think back I saw very few priestly actions and found autonomy more a license for lack of accountability than spiritual maturity. I pray for those of the community I departed.
I say this now as I join with people who see the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, as a duty, a responsibility that is a privilege. In this community I find that acts of priesthood taken very seriously while understanding the priest is accountable and needs supervision as much as anyone. As far as autonomy, is that not part of our problems as human beings. Is not our idolization of the individual simply an extension of our wanting to be our own gods?
This Sunday, I will stand and bless the elements of bread and wine. I will do so under the authority granted me by my bishop. I will join with the laity as a participant in the presence of grace. The table will be open to all for it is God’s table. I will take the body of Christ because it is Christ who gives it to me. I will take from the cup that was given to atone for my sins. I will do this with a community who understands what a sustaining means of grace this action of worship is.
And I say Amen, Amen!