HEAR the Word of GodHEAR the Word of God and Share in the Lord's Supper.
For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:26 NRSV)
God gives the word and the sacraments to the church and by the power of the Spirit thereby creates and sustains the church among us. (The Use of the Means of Grace: A Statement on the Practice of Word and Sacrament, Principle 2, page 7.)
We listen deeply as we hear, read and study God's word. As God's word speaks to us, it comes both as command and promise. We listen to see how the message challenges us and encourages us in our lives. We listen for God's call and God's guidance. And we listen to the words of the Lord's Supper to remind us that the body of Christ was given for us and the blood of Christ was shed for us.
The Lord's Supper stands at the center of our lives as Christians. In that meal, we received Jesus' presence into our very bodies. We receive God's gifts of forgiveness of sin, new life and salvation. At the same time, as a community God makes us into the body of Christ, one with all in every time and place who share this holy meal. We become the body of Christ for the sake of the world. That is, we participate in God's mission. Having been showered with God's gifts, God sends us forth to take that love and compassion out into the world to the lonely, the oppressed, the poor, the hungry, the imprisoned, the angry, and those suffering in mind, body and spirit.
There are many ways we hear God's Word:
- The public reading of Scripture
- Bible study, devotional reading and retreats
- Experiencing the Arts
- Forgiveness of sin
- All aspects of a congregation's educational ministry
- Continue the fellowship of the Lord's Supper through meal time prayer at the dinner table