Courtney Jacob

The Holy Sacraments

As a naïve college freshman, I found myself at the front of an unfamiliar church sanctuary, frozen like a deer in headlights. Why? I was part of a student wind ensemble leading worship at a local church. But this wasn’t a case of simple stage fright or performance anxiety. Instead, I was caught off guard when the congregation began celebrating the Lord’s Supper. 

I was a Christian. They were Christians. No big deal, right? Well, I wasn’t sure. I knew that I was not a member of the same denomination as the church. I knew our beliefs about the Lord’s Supper were different, but I didn’t know what we agreed or disagreed about or how that affected what I should or shouldn’t do in that moment. There I sat, unprepared and unsure…what was I supposed to do and what did it mean for my faith? 

I imagine my experience is not unique. Whether visiting an unfamiliar church or engaging in an intimate conversation about faith with a friend, a foundational understanding of the Holy Sacraments can provide us with peace and assurance about our faith. In our Groundwork series, “The Holy Sacraments” we’ll explore that foundation together by studying the scripture passages that inform our beliefs about what the Holy Sacraments, why we celebrate them, and what we believe happens when we do.

The Essential Practices of the Christian Faith

The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been essential parts of Christian worship from the earliest days of the Church. Today, most Christians agree that these sacred rites are ordained by Jesus Christ in scripture and that they proclaim and enact the deepest truths of the Christian faith. That’s not to say that there isn’t disagreement though. There is. Many denominations disagree about their exact meaning, the particular way the sacraments are practiced, or the form that they take. 

 But that disagreement shouldn’t keep us from exploring how the Holy Sacraments are an important way that God enters into relationship with us. Through the sacraments we live into our relationship with God and it is valuable for us to study the scriptures that inform our beliefs about them―whether we’re seeking to understand them for the first time or coming back for a refresher.

Understanding the Holy Sacraments

In our Groundwork series “The Holy Sacraments,” Dr. Jim Brownson will help us dig into scripture and better understand how the Holy Sacraments are gifts from God. We will look at the core beliefs that Christians agree on and also identify differences between how various Christian groups understand and practice the sacraments, in the hope of clearing up confusion and increasing our understanding.

Join Groundwork as we dig deeply into scripture to grow in our understanding of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper in the series "The Holy Sacraments":

...and together we’ll grow deeper in faith and in relationship with God. 

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