word and sacrament

The similarities of the story of Jesus with two disciples who were walking to Emmaus and the story of Paul on the ship to Rome have been noted in an earlier post. An example of an institutionalized reading of the two stories would be to dogmatize two elements in the two stories: Jesus and Paul speaking to and breaking bread with the two disciples and the sailors, respectively, to the ministry of the Word and Sacrament(s) in the church. As the Westminster Catechisms put it, they are ‘the outward and ordinary means where Christ communicated to us the benefits of redemption.’ (there are three such means according to the Westminster standards: word, sacraments, and prayer) In both stories, of course, we saw such ‘redemption’ happened to the two disciples and the sailors. Both stories began in misery, and ended in joy.

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