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Youth Sharing the Lord's Supper

We are committed to partnering with families to raise a generation for Christ, so that we pass on the Christian faith from one generation to the next. As a church, we have created a rhythm through nine rites of passage we call milestones. Milestones are a tangible expression of someone’s spiritual development and an important way for us as a church family to honor and make commitments with one another. One of the milestones at Calvin is communion. This milestone provides a framework for inviting children to Jesus’ sacred meal through hands-on instruction. I know that some parents/guardians wonder if their child is “old enough” for communion and the standard to determine that is often that the child be able to understand the meaning of the sacrament. But communion is mysterious: I am 35, and I admit that I still don’t grasp the full meaning of communion. Nevertheless, I believe it is vitally important that we teach children about communion so that it becomes a memorable and meaningful ritual for them. In so doing, we help kids grow in their faith and participate more fully in the life of the church. Therefore, on March 31, I met with 7 elementary-aged children, grades 1 to 5, their parents, and some of the worship shepherds. I gave each one their own book: “A Place for You” by Daniel Erlander. This book, conducive to coloring and personalizing, gives accessible instructions about the sacrament. Wherever the table is pictured, Erlander’s illustrations include a space with the designation and an arrow: “a place for you.” I loved hearing the Calvin kids turn a new page and exclaim, “I found the place for me!” reiterating the message that they belong to the family of God, they are loved, and there is room for them at the table. I gave each child a bookmark that encouraged the kids to think directionally as they get ready to take communion. Look up – “God loves you so much! Give thanks to God.” Look back. “Remember that Jesus died. Celebrate that Jesus is alive.” Look around. “God’s family is at the table. That includes you!” Look inside. “Are you sorry for your sins? Tell Jesus. He forgives you!” Look forward. “Now Jesus lives in heaven. One day you will live with him too!” On Maundy Thursday, April 18, the children will complete this milestone by taking the sacrament with their families and the rest of the Calvin church family. Please pray for the seven children going through the communion milestone this spring: pray that they would gain a richer understanding of Jesus’ invitation to his special meal and that in response they would be his disciples wholeheartedly.