Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ecclesiology IV: Sacraments

4 Lent
"A sacrament is a means of grace, a means through which the Holy Spirit indwells our lives in order to renew us and transform us. And the Spirit's indwelling of our lives occurs through our indwelling of the gospel story. As we indwell the story so we are indwelt through the story and so we are changed; this story becomes our story, the defining truth of our lives."
John E. Colwell, Promise and Presence: An Exploration of Sacramental Theology (Paternoster: Milton Keynes, 2005), 158.
"The participants' absorption into the story is made possible through their absorption of the story in and through its ritual enactment. They are not simply witnesses of the story, but characters within it. They do not simply recall the forgiveness of sins but ask and receive forgiveness; they do not they do not repeat the praise of others but give praise themeslves; they do not merely remember the night ion which Jesus was betrayed but, mindful of their own daily betrayal, gather with the apostles at that night's table, themselves called by the one who in that darkness called his disciples t eat with him. Above all, they don ot merely remember the giving of the brad and the passing of the cup, but receiving the bread nad passing the cup amongst themselves, they too share in that night's food."
Nicholas Wolterstorff, "Sacrament as Action, not Presence," in The Sacramental Word: Incarnation, Sacrament and Poetry, edited by David Brown and Ann Loades (London: SPCK, 1996), 124.

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