This Sunday in Transformation Worship we will share in the sacrament of Holy Communion. Next Sunday the church will sharing in the sacrament of Holy Baptism as I have opportunity to share in the baptism with a beautiful new baby girl in our church.
Baptism and Communion are both powerful and important means of grace in the life of the church. In Holy Baptism we will have opportunity to share God’s prevenient grace and love with a child who is already experiencing love from her parents and family and now has the blessing of receiving in a new way God’s love and the love of Christ’s church.
In Baptism God marks this child as His own. He says to that child, her parents, and to the world that he loves and gives his grace to her before she is able to respond or even know the full extent of what that loving care means. In this way Baptism is such a beautiful example of God’s love for us. None of us deserve God’s love, none of us fully understand God’s love, and none of us can earn God’s love. God loves us just because we are His children just like parents love their child even before they’ve done anything to recypricate that love.
Baptism is a one time event in the life of an individual. United Methodists don’t rebaptized because baptism isn’t the act of the individual or the family, it is an act of God. To redo a baptism would imply that something was wrong with what God did the first time. We may church many times in our life to renew our baptismal vows and thank God for our baptism. But we never need to repeat it because God never ever stops loving us.
Holy Communion is a sacrament in which the church on a regular basis seeks the loving grace of God in the Holy Mystery of bread and cup. We know and believe that Christ is really present with us when we gather around His table. We know that the one cup and the one loaf represent the one body of Christ we are a part of. And when we share in Communion we commune with each other, we commune with Christ and we truly receive his power and grace in our lives. Holy Communion strengthens us for our spiritual walk just as food strengthens us for our physical walk.
In Baptism and Communion God calls us His own. Or as the old hymn says, “Now I belong to Jesus, Jesus belongs to me. Not for the space of time alone, but for eternity.