Monday, August 17, 2009

OFFSPRING: The Sacraments And The Senses


Our Savior Christ has not only set forth these truths most plainly in his word, that we may hear them with our ears; but he has also ordained one visible sacrament of regeneration in water, and another visible sacrament of spiritual nourishment in bread and wine; to the intent that as much as is possible for man that we may see Christ with our eyes, smell him with our nose, taste him with our mouths, grasp him with our hands, and perceive him with all of our senses… In this way our savior Christ, knowing that we in this world are as it were but babes and weaklings in faith, has ordained for our senses these tokens whereby to allure and draw us to more strength and a more constant faith in him. (Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cramner ca. 1550 ad)


Cramner, the author of the Book of Common Prayer, here speaks with the same eloquence that he employs in the prayer book. However, here he uses his gift to speak of the wonder of the sacraments. He points to the inescapable attraction the sacraments of Christ and His church have for the Christian. He identifies their power in their incarnate nature. Because they like we are physical creatures, they convey something to us that non physical things, such as words, cannot convey. Water, bread, and wine convey the physicality of Christ to us by our senses, so that united to the Word of God we receive grace for our non physical as well as physical being. Salvation to the fullest!

Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, Ps 85: 9

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