by Max Morrow
Celebration of Lord’s Supper has always seemed to me to be a family event. The entire family shares the service together — mother, dad, children, even babes in arms —as much as possible. It’s for the entire household, as Passover was. The Lord’s Supper also means gathering with fellow believers — the household of faith — and at church (if possible), not isolated at home when congregational fellowship is available.
One time when our children were small, we arranged a babysitter for the service. I’ve regretted it ever since. Certainly, participation in the Lord’s Supper is for those who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord. Thus, children are not encouraged to partake of the emblems, but they can feel the warmth of fellowship and sacredness of attitude that participants experience. They can soak up the vibes, in other words.
The reason for not encouraging (unbelieving) children to share the emblems is the warning given in 1 Corinthians 11:29, which says those who are not “discerning the Lord’s body” (NKJV) eat and drink judgment on themselves. Unless they have accepted Jesus as their Savior, children are not discerning His body. They are not recognizing that Christ’s body was broken for them, not distinguishing the meaning of the event.
Though Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of Jesus and His atoning sacrifice, it stimulates several sentiments besides assurance of salvation. Significant among them is unity (togetherness, camaraderie, community, affinity). Sharing the emblems of Christ’s body and blood has a bonding influence. It draws participants to the Prince of Peace. His death is what makes peace among people and with God possible.
As long as my parents were alive, though I was thousands of miles away from them many times, Lord’s Supper gave me a feeling of closeness to them, for I knew that in the same evening, they and I were sharing the service and being of one at heart. I also find that Lord’s Supper is a bonding in spirit with fellow believers throughout the world. We are drawn closer to our Lord that evening, and in this closeness, we are drawn closer to one another.
I don’t want to miss being with brethren for Lord’s Supper if I can possibly be in their midst. It ties our hearts together.
Max Morrow pastors in Owosso, MI.