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Preparing to take the Lord’s Supper - Part Four - Children and Communion
Posted June 7th, 2007 by Pastor_David
One of the joys and challenges of parenthood is teaching your child how to eat. Newborns can instinctively breast-feed, but they usually have a hard time handling a fork. Before little Junior can sit at the table and dine with the family, a long, messy process of training is usually required.
Churches also face the joy and the challenge of preparing children to come to the Lord’s Table. Various congregations handle this in different ways. Some ask parents to decide whether or not their children should take part in Communion. Others require children to reach a specific age. At ACC we ask parents to work in conjunction with church leadership to discern when our young people are ready to commune.
Since self-examination is part of coming to the Table (1 Cor. 11:28) we wait for children to reach the stage where they can profess faith in Christ before we serve them the communion elements. Until that time, parents are encouraged to bring children with them to the table, so that (though they are not yet fully participating) they can be told of the love and grace of God. When parents sense that a child is ready to make a public profession of faith, the church elders should be contacted so that they can meet and pray with them, and prepare them to receive from the Table. Then they can be received by the congregation as communing members of the church and participate in the Lord’s Supper with everyone else.
A few months ago the youngest son of one of our elders took this public step. His father was helping to serve Communion that day. It thrilling for me to watch as that father served his son Communion for the first time in his life.
It is thrilling whenever any child in our congregation takes this step. It is confirmation that God has fulfilled his promises and answered the prayers that were made at the child’s baptism. He has brought them to faith in His Son Jesus Christ. It is reason for the whole congregation to rejoice.