As parents, we try to raise our kids the best way we know how, hoping that the end result will be well adjusted children who think critically, and while learning from our vast knowledge of everything under the sun, are able to draw their own conclusions and find their own way.
One of the key areas we nudge our kids one direction or the other is in the area of religion. As Christians raising kids, this often takes the form of reading Bible stories, gathering with other Christians, learning the small life lessons as seen through the lens of Christianity, etc. etc.
Over time, it’s inevitable that a discussion about communion will come up. Below are two scenarios that have played out in our family.
Age 4-5ish... at church, after breakfast... belly full, communion starting:
Kid: Uh, hey, what’s going on here.
Me: You know who Jesus is right?
Kid: Yup sure do.
Me: Do you know that he died right... for all the bad stuff that we tend to do? Well... the bread represents his body, bruised and broken, and cup his blood... shed on our behalf so that we don’t have to.
Kid: Yep got it.
Me: Well... it’s not to be taken lightly, so we’re gonna sit this one out mmmmkay.
Age 6ish... at church, before supper... kid starving, communion starting:
Kid: SNACK TIME... LEZ GO!
Me: Hold on a sec... do you even remember what all this means?
Kid: Yeah yeah, Jesus died for us, I want some bread and juice... LEZ GO!
Me: Uh... it’s not to be taken lightly, so we’re gonna sit this one out mmmmkay.
Kid: bu, bu, but I want a snack!
Me: Uh... I don’t think so.
Kid: much weeping and gnashing of teeth
Mom: comforts kid and lovingly escorts her out the back door.
After reflecting upon the latest communion experience, I’ve come to a conclusion. Our society has trained my kid to think communion is snack time. I blame this evil world for corrupting such a time of reflection and remembrance.
Ever since I can remember our kids have had, almost daily, a time of partaking bread and juice. Often it takes the form of O’s and a juice box, goldfish and a glass of juice, oyster crackers and juice... you name it and juice. So is it really any surprise that while at church and something in bread form plus juice appears, that the brain immediately jumps to snack time?
The obvious lesson learned here is, never ever give your kids bread and juice, or they’ll ruin communion. That and kids are awesome, and remind us to take a step back and not take ourselves quite so seriously all the time. After all, Jesus told his disciples to step off and let the kids come hang out with him for a bit because often they really know what’s up, not us.