“Would the sermon not be delivered and listened to quite differently if everything outwardly and visibly began with the baptism and moved towards the Lord’s Supper? Why do numerous attempts to bring church liturgy up to date prove without exception so unfruitful? Is it not because they do not fix their attention on this fundamental defect, the incompleteness of our usual service, i.e. its lack of sacraments?
– Karl Barth
I agree with Barth – one of the largest problems with many churches is the lack of attention or effort given to the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Ideal church service: baptism -> sermon -> Lord’s Supper.
Agree or disagree?
“In baptism, a human individual is transferred from the world to the church. The world registers a loss in loyalty; the church registers an advance in loyalty. . . . Because of this shift, baptism marks a definite realignment of power. . . . If the church grows through the initiation of one member at a time, it seemingly shrinks through an equivalent but opposite process. The world attempts to regain its lost members, to secure its former loyalties, and to establish its earlier power. In this way, baptism is an overtly political act. Like the burning of draft cards, baptism declares a switched identity, a refusal to be one thing and a determination to be something else.”
– Crag Hovey, To Share in the Body
(quoted by Richard Beck in The Slavery of Death, p. 81)