F O U N D A T I O N S 54 sisters, we must first make peace so that we can come to Christ’s table with free hearts. According to an early Christian tradition, bread and wine are themselves a symbol of unity.* To make bread, grains from different fields are harvested and baked into a single loaf; to make wine, grapes from different vineyards are collected and pressed to yield a single vintage. In the same way, the church is gathered from many lands and nations to be made one in Christ. 72 The Lord’s Supper is a meal of thanksgiving, a celebra- tion of Christ’s victory over sin and death. Through it we proclaim his death until he comes again. This feast is a foretaste of his return – the great wedding banquet foretold in Scripture, when he will come as bridegroom to unite with his bride, the church. The Laying on of Hands 73 Christ gives the church the authority to act on his behalf. The laying on of hands is a symbol of this authority, used from earliest times by the people of God to ask him to give his blessing, to set a person apart for himself in a special way, or to bestow the power of his Spirit. Jesus and his apostles used this sign – sometimes together with anointing – to forgive sins, heal the sick, raise the dead, drive out demons, give blessings, commission messengers of the gospel, and pray for the * Didache, 9.4 (ca. ad 60–110). Matt 5:23–24 1 Cor 11:23–26 Rev 19:6–9 Matt 16:19 Gen 48:14 Num 11:16–25; 27:15–23 Jas 5:13–20 Luke 4:40; 8:40–56 Acts 8:14–17; 13:1–3