communionA couple of years ago, the snow was so thick that our Sunday church service was actually canceled. Unfazed, my husband headed to another church, where a roommate from college was a pastor. I had never heard him preach before, and knowing he was a goofball, I wondered what his sermons would be like.

As I walked into the church with eager anticipation, I corralled the four children into a pew. It was a family-integrated church with no children’s classes, similar to ours in that respect.

At that moment, I spotted the communion table. I glanced at my two oldest boys (ages 8 and 7 at the time) who usually took communion, because they had committed their lives to Christ. I turned to my husband in a mild panic, saying, “It’s communion. You realize it’s real wine. What do we do about the kids? Is it even legal?”

My husband calmed me down and said everything was fine; let them take it.

The practical implications appeared in my imagination, and I pictured both my boys spitting out the wine onto the heads of the people in front of us. My children were not used to bitter food, and my dramatic, hyper son would undoubtedly act out this scene if I did not intervene in some way. I paused for a moment, then looked at my two sons with all seriousness and said, “The communion juice will taste bitter like dandelion leaves. It is real wine. I do not want you to spit it out. When you drink it, remember the bitter suffering that Christ had to endure because of your sin. Okay?”

They both nodded their heads with large eyes and deep seriousness. I knew they would do it right.

The sermon was unusually good, coming from a blunt and humorous preacher. As our family got up to leave at the end of the service, I thought about the fact that I was glad for the circumstances surrounding my children’s first taste of alcohol. My husband was right. Their first sip would never be out of rebellion, but out of obedience. I had a lump in my throat as I looked at my husband and smiled.

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4 Responses to “Communion”

  1. gibsonchristie says:

    How funny! You never told me that story before! That was so clever of you. I thank God for putting that into your heart and head!

  2. Matthew McMenamy says:

    Experienced similar situation moving church to church. The flip side of that is we observe “close” communion but presenting the work to a congregation that observed “closed” communion. When the communion plate passes and you have to tell your family to- not par-take of the service. Makes you feel as if you’ve done something wrong. Plus the dozens of eyeballs stripping you down. To each their own.

    Enjoyed your experience!

    • Susan says:

      I like when churches turn the lights down so that people who have someone who sinned against them and don’t feel right taking communion (even if they are right with God), don’t feel like people are staring at them.

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