CELEBRATING THE LORD’S SUPPER AS A FAMILY
The Lord’s Supper ❧ Communion Sunday
Exodus 12:26; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
I want to begin this morning with a question: Have you ever wondered how to explain Communion to your children? Or, for that matter to an adult? What do you say to your children when they see a big plate pass in front of them with tiny cups of juice and little pieces of bread, they see you take one, but they’re not allowed? From a child’s perspective this can be very confusing.
This morning we’re going to celebrate the Lord’s Supper as a family. We’ve asked that the children remain in the service. This is a message for parents, grandparents, and children.
One of the greatest challenges, as well as privileges as parents, is to be able to share about Jesus Christ with our children. It is a challenge because for many of us as parents we feel inadequate, ill-equipped to know how to share our faith in Christ with our children in way that makes senses to them. On the other hand, it is a privilege because there is no greater message of love and security, hope and forgiveness you can give your child. What an amazing joy to know your children will be with you in Heaven forever!
Whether we feel inadequate or ill-equipped, God tells us as parents we are the first line of spiritual defense in our children’s lives. God has given parents the primary responsibility of spiritual nurturing their children. You are your child’s first line of spiritual defense. I want to help you with that this morning.
More often than not, we think of Communion as something that is mostly for adults. When it comes to children, Communion is more incidental than intentional. But what does God say? From the beginning God intended Communion to be a family celebration. Communion finds its very beginning in the OT Passover.
On the very first Passover when God rescued Israel from their Egyptian bondage, He carefully instructed the parents to select a blue-ribbon lamb from their flock, kill it, and place its blood on the doorway of their homes. God was very meticulous about every detail in preparing for Passover – the shadow of which Jesus is the fulfillment. This is what John the Baptist meant when he recognized who Jesus was declaring, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29. I read about a church in Germany that has a stone lamb on the church itself. The story goes that when some workmen were building the roof, one workman fell to the ground. His friends rushed down expecting to see him killed. But he was unhurt. A lamb was grazing below when he fell on it, crushing the lamb. The man was so grateful that he made an image of the lamb in stone and placed it on the building as memorial. The Bible says Jesus is the Lamb that was prepared at Passover.
While mom and dad were making all the Passover preparations, their children were to watch. In Exodos 12 it says, Then your children will ask, ‘What does this ceremony mean?’(Exodus 12:26, NAS). God designed Passover with the whole family in mind. Three observations come to mind: 1) Parents are to instruct their children in the application of the Lord’s Supper.2) Parents are to instruct their children in the application of the Lord’s Supper.3)Parents are to inspire their children in the preservation of the Lord’s Supper. So, if God has made you responsible as the parent for your children’s spiritual nurturing, then there are some important questions we need to know the answers to when it comes to Communion: 1) What is Communion? 2) Who should take Communion? 3) When is my child ready to take Communion? Communion is a family event, but not everyone participates at the same level. WHAT IS COMMUNION? (Read: 1 Cor. 11:23-29). For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). These verses tell us Communion is three things: A reminder of Jesus death on the cross: do this in remembrance of Me. It is a statement of faith: For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. It is also a symbol – the bread and the cup symbolize Jesus body.
- The Bread: He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:24).
- The Bread reminds us of Jesus’ body that was nailed to the cross. the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh (John 6:51).
- He gave His body as a sacrifice once for all our sins. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:10).
- The Cup: In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:25).
- The Cup reminds us of Jesus’ blood He shed on the cross. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (Hebrews 10:4, NLT).
- He gave His life as a sacrifice once for all our sins. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit (1 Peter 3:18, NAS).
WHO SHOULD TAKE COMMUNION?
- Only those who have trusted Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly (1 Corinthians 11:29).
- Only those who have examined their hearts before God. A man must examine himself (1 Corinthians 11:28). The word examine means to test the genuineness of something. We’re to test the genuineness of our faith. Ask God to search your heart.
WHEN IS MY CHILD READY TO TAKE COMMUNION?
There is no specific age in which we can take Communion. Communion is not about our age but our faith.
- Has your child placed his or her personal faith in Christ? But the righteous will live by his faith (Habakkuk 2:4). The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself—that it begins and ends with faith. As the Scripture says, “But those who are right with God will live by faith (Romans 1:17, NCV).
- Does your child understand why Christ died for their sins?Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all (Luke 18:16-17, NAS).
- Determine if your child is ready. If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation (Romans 10:9-10).