Churches can get lopsided and sidetracked quite quickly if there isn’t frequent instruction. Some churches get drawn into the mystery & symbolism of the sacraments. These begin to crowd out the Word as they become barnacled with more ornate traditions, customs, and requirements. The sacraments become more & more elaborate, and soon the thing they signify is hidden from view due to all the frivolous fanfare.
Other churches desire the appearance of sturdiness that comes with wooden hermeneutics, rigid doctrines, with so much precision that it can only be measured by intricate lab instruments. These churches preach verse by verse expository sermons; but often the Lord’s Supper is only observed quarterly, and to make sure nobody gets any Roman Catholic notions they preach another sermon before the supper just to drill it into everyone’s head that this is just to remind us of Jesus, but beyond that it doesn’t do anything.
But the Word and Sacraments must go together. Like skeleton & flesh. Like light & warmth. Like framing & furniture. Like covenant vows & covenant consummation. Our relationship with Christ isn’t like a contract stored in some heavenly filing cabinet. It’s personal, and the sacraments bring this reality to us. Bread you can touch and taste. Wine with potent sweetness. Water that spills down your head. But neither is our relationship with Christ a ritual which puts us in touch with a “higher power” to align our chakras. Our fellowship with Christ is objective, grounded in eternal truth, and this is what the Word preached brings to us.
God has revealed His promises to us in His Word, and then He substantiates His promises in signs of water, bread, & wine. So where Christ’s Word & Sacrament dwell together, there is Christ’s Church. Where His Word of promise is both proclaimed and tasted. The Word provides the firm ground, upon which our faith might partake of these gracious blessings.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus Christ…