Have you ever wondered why we do some of the things we do as Christians such as baptism, communion, child dedication, or even prayer? What part do these and other traditions play in worshiping God and growing in our faith? Over the next few weeks we will explore these practices and rituals more deeply in order to answer these questions.
The Christian practices that we do together as a body, joining together with one another, with Christ, and with the communion of saints, are designed to help us live out our faith and address fundamental human needs in the light of and in response to God’s grace. These practices are often complex sets of acts, words, and images that take place in worship, however, each practice can be done not only in the church, but also in our daily work and in our homes. The practices come to us from the past and will shape us and our walk with Christ now and into the future, both individually and communally. Attention to these practices can help us as modern people treasure our connection with the past and help us to embrace the future with hope, all as members of a living tradition.
Many of our Christian practices were taught by Christ himself. Think about communion, the last supper, where Matthew 26 shows us that Jesus not only instructs the disciples how to take the elements, but also answers the question of why the disciples should take part. Christ reveals to us how to do these things and even gives us tangible examples. Jesus in Matthew 6 tells us how to pray to God and gives an example that he prays himself in The Lord’s Prayer. Jesus Christ calls us to honor him and glorify God through these practices looking at not only how to do these things, but also answer the question of “why?”
The practice of dedications, prayers, baptisms, worship, and communion allow us to give ourselves to the Lord, reflect upon his sovereignty, and can move us to think about who we truly are as the created and newly created children of God. The scriptures teach us what he has called for his people to do and over the next several weeks, I look forward to walking through these practices. Learning about them is one thing, but participating in these more fully as individuals within a family will strengthen our walk, move us closer to Christ, and ultimately shine in and through us so we can be beacons of his love, professing our faith together.
Written by Luke Lusted - Website
Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Luke first felt God's call to lead and serve in the music ministry of the local church while pursuing his Bachelor's degree at Louisiana Tech University. He earned his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the University of Arizona. While Luke has served in numerous professional capacities including Artistic Director of a large choral organization, chorister in professional choirs, and composer and clinician for schools and churches across the country, his heart is pastoring and using his gifts to glorify Christ and His kingdom.