Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Water, Bread, and Wine

My daughter is going to be baptized this Sunday!

Our discussions about baptism started me thinking…

If you read the gospels thoroughly and look at the context, you find a Jesus who consistently challenged, redefined, destroyed, and/or nullified just about every tradition and ritual the religious leaders of the day valued. From washing rituals to Sabbath restriction to public prayers, Jesus cut to the heart of the matter and either showed the practices as the hollow exercises that all rituals can become or challenged the individuals to live up to the true meaning of what they were symbolically declaring.

So, when this same Jesus sets out two rituals for his followers, should we maybe take a closer look at those rituals and what he's trying to tell us?

The two rituals are simple: Baptism and Communion (or Lord's Supper or Eucharist).

Hmmm… what's the significance of these two? Wait a minute, “two” - wasn't there something about all the commandments being wrapped into “two” commandments? Oh yea, "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength" - and "love your neighbor as yourself."

Hey, what if the ritual of baptism (symbolically dying to self) is supposed to be a reference to the first commandment (loving God with everything you are)?

And what if communion (symbolically taking of the body and blood of Christ in an act of unity) is supposed to be a reference to the second commandment (loving your neighbor as yourself)?

Just a thought.

Needless to say, I am incredibly proud of Kelsey and the decision she has made. I can't wait for Sunday!

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