TODDLERS

Why I Let My Five-Year-Old Son Take Communion (Unpopular Opinion)

Communion, also known as The Lord’s Supper around these parts, is an ordinance of the Christian church. We eat a small piece of bread and drink a small cup of grape juice (some churches use wine, but ours doesn’t) to remember what Jesus did by offering his body as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.

We attend a Southern Baptist Church. Communion in our denomination is reserved for those who have been saved and baptized. Zeke is five years old, so obviously he hasn’t entered into our church through the believer’s baptism yet. So why do I let him observe the Lord’s Supper? 

First, he gets so excited when he realizes we’ll be observing communion at church – he is probably more excited about it than anyone in our church. Whereas one of the adult members may think to themselves, “Oh, we’re observing communion today,” Zeke gets a huge smile on his face and excitedly points to the table and says, “Mom! We’re doing the Lord’s Supper today!”

If I were to tell him that he couldn’t participate because he isn’t “saved”, that would disappoint him so badly and probably give him a negative view of this special ordinance. 

If I were to tell him that it was only for grown-ups or older kids, that would dampen his spirit.

I just can’t do that to him – especially since he has the attitude about communion that we should ALL have. In fact, just watching his eagerness to take part in the Lord’s Supper has helped my spirit to be more excited about it!

Second, he can tell me exactly what the Lord’s Supper symbolizes. He pays attention to the pastor when he’s reading the scriptures and praying over the bread and juice. When we took the Lord’s Supper last Sunday, I leaned over to Zeke and whispered, “What does the bread stand for?” He said, “Jesus’s body.” And I said, “Right. What about the juice?” He answered, “His blood.” His answers may seem simple, but the older he gets, the more complexity he will add to his knowledge. 

Lastly, he’s not just taking the Lord’s Supper because it’s a good little snack – it’s not. The bread tastes like a piece of a Styrofoam cup, and the juice is always bitter and just barely enough to swallow. He is taking the Lord’s Supper because he wants to join in with the church and what we’re doing. He sees that it’s something special and important. He sees that it’s a significant part of our faith. How could I deny him that joy and privilege because he hasn’t been baptized yet? 

Look, I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church – my dad was a SB preacher for many years. We don’t get everything right, but I do try to follow the rules and accept the doctrine of my faith. I don’t feel like I’m disrespecting the faith at all here, even if I do get funny looks when I let Zeke take a communion cup. 

Do I think that all children should be allowed to participate in Communion? No, I don’t think that. I do believe that it should be a sacred rite and be respected. 

Am I still going to let Zeke take part? Yes, for now. When he gets a little older and I can explain more about it where he will understand and not be disappointed, I’ll do that.

And that’s my unpopular opinion. What’s your view?

Originally Posted Here

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