Sunday, January 6, 2008

Reflections on the sacrament

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints partake of the sacrament every week during normal worship services. Other churches often call this the “Lord’s Supper,” or “Communion.”
During the administration of the sacrament we reflect on the on the life and mission of Jesus Christ. I found myself pondering today on the significance of eating and drinking the sacred emblems. Catholics believe in what is called “transubstantiation” in which the bread and wine they drink literally transform into the flesh and blood of Christ. While we do not believe the bread and water (in our case) literally transform into the flesh and blood of Christ, we treat seriously the ordinance as a means of renewing our covenants with the Father and retaining a remission of our sins.
I find it interesting that often when we reflect on something we feel we know a lot about (especially in gospel settings) we catch nuances and subtleties that we did not notice before. It reminds me of something Hugh Nibley said: “If a symbol is truly eternal, we will be able to find endless meanings to it.” –paraphrased
As I sat pondering the significance of the sacrament I thought that the sacrament is a divinely mandated medium for those worthily partaking of it to internalize the power of the atonement and recognize the sacrifice of the savior.
This was not a new thought to me. It was however a new thought to the followers of Christ when he had his followers eat bread and drink wine, telling them that this was his flesh and blood. Many disciples turned from him and left, calling this “an hard saying” (John 6:60).
Insights into why this internalization of the sacrifice of the savior are so important are found throughout the savior’s teachings. Many of his teachings were purposed to wean the people of the pharisaic concepts of righteousness (outward performances) and to teach the people to be internally righteous which would naturally show outwardly. Many of us know people today, in the Church or out, who have all appearances of being pious and godly to only discover on closer observation it is a show.
The more deeply we internalize the sacrament, the more we allow our hearts to be changed and turned towards righteousness. This means people like me have lot of internalizing to do so the Lord can straighten us out.

Best Wishes,

1 comment:

Richard K Miller said...

First post of the new year! Welcome back. I just thought I'd let you know I added your blog to our website directory. Here's to a full year of blogging ahead.

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