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Sunday Reflection

Today is the Lord’s Day. Many of us will have the privilege of partaking of the sacraments – either participating in the Lord’s Supper or watching a baptism. Perhaps some will even be baptized today. What a blessed thing it is to enjoy these ordinances given by the Lord.

This week I read an helpful metaphor for the sacraments and would like to share an adapted version of this.

Suppose you were interested in purchasing a new computer. Using your old, outdated computer, you visit and look at all they have to offer. Eventually you select a slick new system, complete with all the bells and whistles. After customizing it to your heart’s content, you click the “Buy It” button. With confidence you enter your personal information and your credit card number, and then complete the transaction. At that very moment you have purchased a computer.

A few seconds later an email arrives in your inbox providing a summary of the details of your computer, along with the amount of the purchase. This, of course, is the receipt of your purchase.

The next morning you wake up feeling guilty. You realize that you probably should not have spent so much money and that you truly cannot afford it. When you turn on your computer and open your email program, the very first thing you see is the receipt of your purchase. Right then you know that you do cannot afford this computer and decide you simply can’t have it. And so you erase your receipt. With a single click of the mouse, the email is gone forever. And just like that you have freed yourself of the debt against you.

Or have you?

Of course you haven’t. The receipt is merely a confirmation of the deal and has no real bearing on the deal itself. It reminded you that the deal happened and confirmed that it happened – but confirmation is only confirmation, not the event itself. By deleting the email you have done nothing to undo the deal itself. A few days later the computer will still arrive at your door and your card will still be billed accordingly.

And this is the way it is with the sacraments of Lord’s Supper and baptism. They are not the thing itself, but are merely a reminder and confirmation – a receipt if you will – of an event. If you were unable to celebrate Lord’s Supper ever again, you would still be saved.

So as you celebrate the sacraments today, if indeed you have such a privilege, remember that these confirm to you that Christ died, that His blood was shed for you, and that He truly did rise again. The sacraments are not the events themselves, but give us the assurance that they did happen. As truly as the bread is in your mouth, as surely as the wine is sweet to your tongue, and as surely as the water pours over your body, so surely has Jesus died and risen for you. So surely has he accomplished all that you need.

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