What is a Rite
Identify with Christ through Baptism and Communion
This weeks Text:
Titus 3:1-8 (NIV84)
1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
A rite is a observance of a church that has religious meaning. You may have also heard them called ordinances. Protestant Christianity observes two rites: Baptism and Communion (some also observe foot washing). What do both of these rites have in common? They both focus on Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection. Through baptism we remember Christ died for us as we are dipped under the water and that Christ was raised again to new life as we are raised out of the water. And when we believed in Christ, we too were made dead to our old selves and alive to new, and eternal, life in Christ. Communion is the very act of remembering that Christ died for us. Through the bread and the wine we remember that Christ body was broken and his blood poured out for us.
So, let us take the opportunity of baptism to celebrate new life in christ through baptism. And let us always remember that Christ died for us.