Sunday, January 21, 2007

385 Lutheran sacraments

"Lutherans recognize only two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's Supper, because Luther could find no clear evidence that Christ instituted any other sacraments. Baptism commissions all believers to a common ministry, but for the sake of enduring witness and good order in the church, there is a divinely instituted, special, ordained ministry. Lutherans have not always agreed on the precise differences between the ministry of all the baptized (the "common priesthood of all believers") and the ministry of the ordained, but they have nevertheless rejected any notion of a divinely instituted structure of hierarchical priesthood. An ordained Lutheran pastor is a baptized Christian who is called to the public ministry of word and sacraments after proper training and examination, and the rite of ordination is the solemn commissioning to be faithful to this call." Lutheranism. ERIC GRITSCH. Encyclopedia of Religion. Ed. Lindsay Jones. Vol. 8. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. p5538-5540. 15 vols. On-line edition accessed Jan. 21, 2007.

Lutherans, at least none I know, don't rebaptize. If you can't remember your baptism, don't ask for a do-over from a Lutheran because you'll be told God remembers even if you don't. Also, of all the service opportunities I've had since joining UALC in 1974, serving communion is the high point. I can't tell you the beauty and privilege of handing the body of Christ to a dear sweet 85 year old who has struggled to get to the communion rail.

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