Note from Kylee Eden
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” - Luke 11:1 ESV
You might be wondering, “In a modern society, why do Church traditions matter?” and why does Asbury place such high value on these long-standing beliefs? Scripture is the same 2,000 years ago as it is today. Our faith and understanding of Scripture has been passed down from the ancient Church, so all Christians share a common history. The following traditions are a constant reminder in an ever-changing society of what our foundation is built upon. Freeing us from society’s views of truth and life, Church traditions ultimately give us our distinct Christian identity and set us apart as Christians.
A sacrament is an outward sign of an inward or invisible grace. Participation in the sacraments is a pledge, an oath of loyalty, to Jesus Christ as Lord. By receiving a sacrament, you proclaim that you follow Jesus. We have two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion. These are two things which Jesus told all people to do.
Asbury believes Baptism helps us as disciples to begin the work of renewing ourselves into the image of Christ during our earthly journey, until we are reunited with Him in Heaven. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, Baptism is a way for you to say before others, “I follow Jesus, and choose to join the church.”
As a parent when you decide to baptize your infant or child, it primarily symbolizes your desire to bring your child up as a follower of Christ. Depending on the child's age, parents will make the vows on behalf of the child to raise them up in the faith. Water will be used as a symbol to wash or cleanse away their sins. It is not the amount of water or the mode of Baptism that is the focus, but rather, God’s grace coming into their life.
The first Christians shared Communion weekly as a response to what Jesus Christ had done for them – forgiveness of their sins and eternal life through Him. Asbury upholds this tradition as a way to remember Jesus' sacrifice, give thanks to Him and celebrate what we've learned in Scripture during Sunday's sermon. Sunday's sermon and Communion, also known as the Word & Table, is our "two-way" conversation with God. While God speaks to us through the sermon, we respond to Him by coming to the Table.
The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer Jesus taught His dedicated followers to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. It is also found in one other place in Scripture – Luke – as Jesus was praying by himself. Each line of the prayer has a specific meaning – teaching us who to address, how to worship, a reminder to pray for God’s plan, asking for His help, a call to confess our sins, to forgive others and an ask for strength through life’s many trials and tribulations.
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
The Apostles’ Creed is a collective declaration of beliefs Christians deem as true. For example, the same creed has been recited by Christians who wrote it around AD 150, as well as Christians in the past, present and future. This creed unites each follower of Christ in an affirmation of faith during baptisms, worship services and more.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead and buried; The third day he rose from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, And sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, The holy catholic church, The communion of saints, The forgiveness of sins, The resurrection of the body, And the life everlasting. Amen.