19 March 2014

Are we really going to drink that?

Last Sunday I got to sit in church with my sister and her family. I also got to celebrate Communion (again). To my surprise, we had the Communion part of the church service before the sermon and my oldest niece was still in church. As she's fairly young (6) and her parents attend a non-denominational church, I assumed she hadn't experienced Lord's Supper very often, if at all. So I explained a little bit about how we share bread and wine together just like Jesus did during his last meal with his disciples before He died. And that it reminds us of Jesus's body and his blood which he gave for us on the cross.

At a certain moment, the pastor took up the cup of grape juice and poured it out into another cup, saying something like: "This is my blood poured out for you for the remission of sins."

My niece, who was paying attention to what was going on asked immediately: "Are we really going to drink that?"

I explained that it wasn't actually real blood: it was grape juice. I believe it's more than just grape juice, but it looks like grape juice and tastes like grape juice, so we'll leave the big theological discussions for when she's older. Just to prove it to her, I let her taste a bit of it when I received my own little cup of it, feeling glad to be part of a tradition that has been asking the question of how children can be more part of the Lord's Supper. My niece, after all, had shown me that even 6 year-olds want to understand and participate.

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