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Posts Tagged ‘Word and Sacraments’

Meditation:  first paragraph by Pr. Scott Murray and the remainder by Leo the Great (c. 391 or 400 – 10 November 461), both from Pr. Murray’s A Year with the Church Fathers:  Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year, Concordia Publishing House…

The Church lives from the font and the cup. Even when primarily concerned with the person of Christ and the communication of the two natures in one person, Leo the Great comes back to the great fact of the Means of Grace. What flowed from the Savior’s side gives life to His Bride, the Church, who is cleansed by that flood of water and is nourished by the flow of His blood. Font and cup put us in the death of Christ.

“If anyone receives the Christian faith and does not turn his ears away from the preaching of the Gospel, let him see what nature hung pierced with nails on the wooden cross; and when the side of the Crucified was opened by the soldier’s spear, let him understand from what that blood and water flowed so that the Church of God might be watered from the font and from the cup. Let him hear also the blessed apostle Peter, proclaiming that the sanctification of the Spirit takes place through the sprinkling of Christ’s blood (1 Peter 1:2). And let him not read cursorily the same apostle’s words when he says, ‘Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot’ (1 Peter 1:18-19). Let him not resist also the witness of the blessed apostle John, who says, “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin’ (1 John 1:7). And again, ‘This is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree’ (1 John 5:4-8). The Spirit, that is, of sanctification, and the blood of redemption,and the water of Baptism, because the three are one; they remain undivided, and not one of them is separated from this connection.The Church catholic lives and advances in this faith, that in Christ Jesus we do not believe in the humanity without the true divinity, nor in the divinity without the true humanity” (Leo the Great, The Tome, 5)

Lord God, heavenly Father, Your Son, Jesus Christ, began His ministry through a water Baptism in the Jordan River that led Him to a bloody baptism on the cross. Even now, He saves us through the water of Holy Baptism and the blood of the cup of the new testament. Grant us steadfastness to trust in water and blood as the means by which He continues to offer us His gracious presence; for He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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