THERE ARE SYMBOLS ... AND THEN THERE'S THE REAL THING. A logo or slogan may be the international symbol for a certain kind of soft drink or car, but it's not about to quench your thirst or transport you from one place to another. A flag may represent the country you're from, but it can't begin to express the language, culture and beauty of your homeland. And a wedding ring may symbolize marriage, but it only hints at the commitment and enduring affection a couple may feel for each other.
It's a lot like that with symbols for Christian sacrament. Over the centuries a whole tradition of these symbols has grown up, but the "real thing" of sacrament is far beyond anything a visible sign or ritual could ever communicate. True Christian sacrament is life-changing, world-transforming, revolutionary. It's about our oneness with God. Our ongoing, ever-flowing communion with Deity. Our intimate, unbreakable, one-on-One connection with the divine Father-Mother.
In the ancient world, sacrament was an oath of allegiance to a military leader. But it was Christ Jesus who most fully lived sacrament, as a covenant with God—and best helped the world understand what communion, or oneness, with God is about. "I and my Father are one," John 10:30. he explained. And when people wanted to stone him for saying that, he offered up his "works"—his dramatic, unprecedented record of healing sin, sickness, and even death—as proof of his oneness with God. "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not," he said. "But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him." John 10:37,