Michael Horton wrote on the the importance of the Sacraments as "Mysteries of God and Means of Grace" in an old issue of Modern Reformation. I found this to be quite an enlightening article concerning church history and also a confirmation of what we've been learning over the last few years--about the importance of Communion and Baptism and their place in the local body of believers. Mostly, that both are instituted by God, are a means by which God provides for us and sustains us through Christ, and that they do not depend on the state of the recipient (In a sermon last Easter, I heard a minister comment that the front of the Table should be emblazoned with "For Sinners Only!"). But Horton says it much better than I. Go read the article--it'll make more sense.
I did like this quote: "In many conservative Reformed and Presbyterian circles, it is as if the prescribed forms for Baptism and the Supper were too high in their sacramental theology, so the minister feels compelled to counter its strong "means of grace" emphasis. In this way, the Sacraments die the death of a thousand qualifications."
HT to Barb. Thanks for pointing this out to those of us who hadn't seen it before!