Monday, July 28, 2008

Replay -- Sacraments are Epiphanies

One of the things that trips people up about the sacraments is when they are thought of in cause and effect terms. Take baptism. The Bible says, "Baptism now saves you" (1 Peter 3:21 ). If one is thinking in cause and effect terms, then this would mean that Baptism causes one to be saved.

But what if baptism is an epiphany?

Here are some other words that get what I am trying to put across: sign, portal, unveiling, window, manifestation. What if Baptism is a manifestation of Christ who offered himself to the Father and makes possible our sharing in his offering through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit? Doesn't that change the calculus? Now the issue becomes not whether water magically saves you. The issue becomes whether or not the Holy Spirit acts in the water to manifest/set forth/unveil/make a portal for -- the death and resurrection of Christ that we might live into that by faith.

A sacrament is more than a bare sign that makes me remember something. A sacrament is more than a badge of my profession. But it is not magic. It is revelation. It is manifestation. It is epiphany. It is reality.

It is more real than we can imagine.

No comments: