Sometimes, when things are done over and over again, the meaning can become lost or changed:
Story by Calvin Wittman – pastor in Wheat Ridge, Colorado:
“I remember hearing a story about a young pastor in the northern part of our country who was called to serve his first church as Senior Pastor. After several months there he noticed that every time he administered the Lord's Supper, there were people who were noticeably upset with him. Not willing to let the problem fester he approached one of the members he knew would be honest with him and asked him what was wrong. The older member proceeded to tell him that he and some of his friends were upset with him because he was not administering the Lord's Supper in the right manner. The problem was that the former pastor, who had been there for several decades, would usually go over to the side of the church and move his hands over it in a ceremonial fashion before administering the Lord's Supper. The young pastor had failed to do this and thus had not been faithful to administer the ordinance in the right way.
This was somewhat puzzling to the younger pastor so he called his retired predecessor to find out what he had done and why he had done it. Seems the weather was often cold in that part of the country and the pastor, not wanting to drop any of the plates or cups would go to the heat radiator before the Lord's Supper to make sure his hands were warmed up before the service. But because he had never told anyone why he was doing what he was doing, many of the people in the church had attached some spiritual significance to his warming his hands.
As is so often the case, when things are done in the church over and over and over again, and there is no ongoing explanation for why they are done, people often assign their own meanings to these activities and this leads to all manner of problems.”
From River of Life major beliefs:
10. Baptism by immersion in water
Acts 8:36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch
said “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?”
Baptism by immersion is an outward expression of the inward working of Jesus
Christ in our lives. This is a believer’s baptism.
18. Taking Communion: The Lord’s Supper
I Corinthians 11:24-26 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is
My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” the same way, (25) after
supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this,
whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (26) For whenever you eat this bread
and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
The word sacrament comes from the Latin word, "sacramentum," which described the oath of loyalty a Roman legionnaire would swear to his commanding officer, and in the sense that we observe baptism and the Lord's Supper in allegiance to our Master, Jesus, we could call these events sacraments. But over the years the word has taken on a different meaning. For some denominations, a sacrament is something which, by its very nature, is a means whereby the grace of God is conveyed. In other words, they teach that when one is baptized or takes communion, by that act itself their sins are forgiven.
Both are baptism and communion is symbols, representing a life that has been changed by Jesus Christ. The act of baptism or communion does not save a person.
So, why is this a BIG deal????
Jesus commands us to do both as followers of Jesus.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Communion, also called Lord’s Supper and Eucharist:
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Baptism and communion are two musts for every group of believers!