As we sit in church with our children beside us, we have an opportunity to invite them deeper into God’s story. Drawing their attention to the communion elements is an important way to share the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection. As we see the plate that holds the bread, we are reminded of Jesus' words, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” It points us to Christ’s body that was broken for us. As we sip from the cup, we hear, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” The cup stands for Christ's covenant promises, sealed to us in his death and resurrection.
Below are six important truths we can teach our children about the celebration of the Lord’s supper. Based on the Christian Reformed Church's six basic themes of the Lord’s supper, these truths can help you invite your family into God’s story.
Eucharist comes from a Greek word meaning thanksgiving. The taking of communion should be a celebration of thankfulness for God’s grace to us. Jesus freely laid down his life for the forgiveness of our sins and that is a reason to rejoice. We approach communion with reverence, but we never forget that it is a celebration founded on gratitude.
The table of God invites us to remember Jesus and what he accomplished on our behalf. Our church's communion table is carved with the words, “this do in remembrance of me.” The Lord's Supper is a reminder of what Jesus went through to restore us to himself. It is a remembrance tinged with sadness.
As we share in the Lord’s supper we are invited to participate in the body and blood of Christ. We are not passive observers, but active participants as we join in taking communion. Through the preaching of scripture we are fed with God’s word and through communion we are fed at God’s table. This participation equips us for sharing God’s love to the world.
Through participating in communion we submit to God’s lordship and ask him to do his work of transformation within us to make us worthy of the body and blood of Christ. We examine ourselves before taking communion, repent of our sins, and accept Christ’s forgiveness. We are called to be pliable to the Spirit’s transforming work in our lives—a process through which we become more like Christ.
We belong to a Church that spans all time and all places. The Lord’s Supper is a way that we participate with all believers in celebrating the death and resurrection of our one Lord. Communion unites us as one family in Christ all gathered around the same table.
We have confidence today that God has completed his work on the cross and that his kingdom is being established on this earth. Christ instructed us to remember his death until he comes again. Celebrating communion is a concrete reminder of his promise to return again and celebrate with us in the fully glory of his kingdom.
As we parent in the pew, we must take advantage of the opportunities we have to point our children to Jesus. Using the communion elements as a tool to share important truths is one way we can help our children grow in faith. We can also let our children hear from our heart about how much God’s precious gift of communion means to us. Shedding a tear over God’s overwhelming grace is a witness to our understanding of the gift. Inviting our children into the drama of worship will enrich the experience for us and for them.