Sunday, January 8, 2012

communion - smile or scowl

"Mommy, what are those plates up there?"  she asked too loudly to be a whisper, but not so loud as to be heard ALL over the building.
"That's for communion, Z." I answer, knowing full well that a conversation is about to start that will not be short.  Part of me wants to quiet her answers, to tell her to sit silently while we, and by we, I mean the adults partake of the sacrament.

How backwards is that?  Did you just think that?  Who do I think I am.  I'm sitting in church, with my just-turned-five-year-old who just two years ago bowed her head, told God she was a sinner, does naughty things, and wanted to have Jesus pay for her sin by dying on the cross and then wants him to live in her heart.  Who am I to keep her from communion?  I'm not. He is the same Jesus who said, "Let the little children come unto me..."  Woe to me that I be the one to stop her from obeying the command to " remembrance of me." (1 Corinthians 11:25)

It's how we remember what Jesus did when he died on the cross.  Do you remember what he did on the cross, Z?
"Yes, mommy.  He died for my sins so I can go to heaven."
"That's right, Z.  The bread helps us remember his body and the grape juice helps us remember his blood."
"It's not real blood, right, mommy?" 
"No, it's just juice.  It's to symbolize which means stand for his blood.  It's to help us remember."

Her understanding of communion is one that is sufficient and as the silver-toned plates pass I let her take the bread, hands poised over the communion cups.  I took her cup and held it for her, her swinging legs jostling her body too much for me to trust her grip.  

Heads bowed, eyes closed, hearts open, I thank God for letting me see my daughter as he sees her, as his daughter, as my sister.  

Communion holds a good amount of serious moments such as the one I relayed above, but I also think that communion is celebratory. Yes, we are remembering a gruesome death, but even more importantly we are celebrating the end of death and the One who came to free us from sin.  I also like to think that God has a sense of humor and I'm sure he laughed at Zahara and I this morning in church as we took communion.

Last year, when Zahara took communion for the first time I had the presence of mind to hold onto her communion cup for her.  I believe it was a mix of a) I don't trust her not to spill it and b) her brother was sitting next to her and I didn't trust HIM not to um, "help" her spill it.  Let's just say that this morning I decided to be a bit more trustworthy of my now, just-turned-six-year-old {also, her brother was at home, sick} and let her hold the cup.  And wouldn't you know, she spilled it.  All over the two of us.  I had no clue that less than an ounce of grape juice could make such a mess.

I had a choice.  I could either scold {which I hate to admit is my first tendency} or giggle which in turn made me almost snort trying to suppress more giggles which in turn made Zahara start to giggle.  I giggled and I'm kind of thinking that God did too.

On a completely random note, did you know they make disposable prepackaged communion cups with the wafer on the top?  Well, now you do!

Do you have any giggle-worthy communion stories?
What age were you (or your kids) when you first took communion?
(I was seven-ish, I think.)


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