Picture not mine

Last Summer my oldest son professed his faith and joined our church as a communing member.  Then, this past Winter my two middle boys also professed their faith in church and became communing members.  These were very special times in their lives and in our lives as parents.  I still remember when my two middle boys were done meeting together with the elders, who know them well because they are close family friends, I asked them how it went and my 7 year old said, “It was AWESOME!”  It was just a simple talk about sin, Jesus and faithful trust and obedience of God.  But it was by all accounts “Awesome.”

I’m so thankful to be in a church where childhood professions of faith are looked for… where they are normal and accepted.  Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” He also said, “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And then he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.  If childlike faith is good enough for Jesus to the point where he commands us not to hinder them from coming to him and to the point that he tells us to have simple faith as they do, then it better be good enough for God’s people.  I am very thankful to be in a church that does not require an inordinate amount of steps or proofs (which they would never even require of a new adult convert before admittance to the table) for the children of believers who can’t remember a time when they didn’t love Jesus.

Thou hast promised to receive us,
poor and sinful though we be;
thou hast mercy to relieve us,
grace to cleanse and power to free.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus!
We will early turn to thee.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus!
We will early turn to thee.

Early let us seek thy favor,
early let us do thy will;
blessed Lord and only Savior,
with thy love our bosoms fill.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus!
Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus!
Thou hast loved us, love us still.

But yesterday something happened that gave me a sweet sense of joy in knowing that not hindering the children from coming to Jesus is the only right thing to do.  Just before Communion towards the end of the service my five year old had to go to the bathroom.  I asked him if he could wait but his body language and his intensity in the request could not be ignored and signified that he definitely could not wait.  My nine year old, as usual, was the one to accompany him to the bathroom while I stayed with the other boys in church.

In the meantime Communion was served and was just finishing up when they got back from the bathroom.  As he sat down, thinking he had gotten there just in time for the start of Communion as opposed to the end, he whispered, “Oh good.  Just in time!”  I informed him to the contrary that he had just missed it.  At once the look on his face was one of great disappointment and it quickly turned to sadness as tears welled up in his eyes and he tried to rub them away as each subsequent one bulged out and made its way down his cheeks.  I put my arm around him and comforted him, thanking him for serving his brother, and I apologized that he had missed out  because of it.

Within a minute my five year old realized he had missed Communion.  Concerned he came over to me from two seats down on the other side of his brother and said, “Mom… I missed Communion.”  I repeated the same thing I had to my older son that I was sorry he had missed it.”  As Daddy began giving the announcements I whispered to both of them that the sadness they were experiencing at missing out on Communion was teaching me how I ought to feel whenever I turn away from Christ for less worthy objects of worship… Instead of just a vague discomfort with the fact that I am doing something wrong, I wished I could be saddened by missing out on Jesus for something infinitely less important.

I think the three of us all took this thought away from what might seem to others as a fairly innocuous experience.

After the service I quickly took both boys by the hand and brought them up to Daddy to explain what had happened and that it was one of those unavoidable situations where delay would not have done.  Daddy very graciously understood and prayed with them and served them communion.

I know that this experience will color my future experiences of the Lord’s Supper, reminding me that we are always making choices, either to take Christ or take something other and infinitely of less value than Christ.  And as I take the bread and the wine I will be reminded that there is always greater joy in taking Christ and there will always be sorrow, whether immediate or eventual, when I do not.

5 thoughts on “Thoughts from Communion

  1. I had a conversation…err debate…with a fellow church member while I was taking some college courses a couple summers ago. In my church, once a month we have a testimony meeting where those in attendance have the opportunity to profess their testimony and belief in God’s plan. This fellow member of my church was displeased with the allowance of little children to stand at the pulpit and bear witness because he believes that little children have no way to actually know what they are talking about. He believed that they were too immature to understand what they were saying.

    I disagree with him and allowed him to know I did wholeheartidly. I told him that was not the point. I told him he did not understand the scripture that you quoted, (“Let the little children come unto me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” He also said, “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”)

    Thank you for sharing this post today. What a great perspective!

    Screwed Up Texan’s last blog post..Life’s Treasures

  2. in response to “the screwed up Texan’s” post: The person who said that the children were too immature to understand what they were talking about might be right, but I think we’re ALL too immature to fully understand what we are talking about! There will always be people further along in their walk than you or I am, but that wouldn’t discourage me from sharing where I am and what I’ve learned, you know?

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