In my planning calendar, I would start teaching 2nd graders about communion starting in a couple weeks. Today was my last day at SUMC, and it happened to be a Communion Sunday. I find it fitting that my first and last days at SUMC were Communion Sundays.
Communion, for me, is always emotional. I reflect on what I teach 2nd graders about communion – the “why” of communion. I think about what Jesus did for me. I think about how Jesus bridged the gap between the Old & New Covenants. I think about how Jesus, knowing what was going to happen, chose to commune with his friends. I think about the love that Jesus has for me.
Adam & Eve really messed up. Because of their sin, we needed to make things right with God. In Old Testament times, this meant offering burnt sacrifices. But not just anything could be sacrificed. It had to be the purest lamb they had. A foreshadowing of what was to come, if you think about it.
The night the Israelites were freed from Egypt, in order save their first born sons, they had to put the blood of their sacrificial lamb on their door frames so that the angel of death would pass over them. Yet another foreshadowing of what was to come.
The night that Jesus was having dinner with his friends was during Passover – remembering all that God had done for Israel. Jesus, our perfect sacrificial lamb, was reflecting on Passover and yet thinking about what would transpire in just a matter of hours.
Jesus was betrayed by Judas, which lead to his arrest and crucifixion. Around the time of Passover, Jesus became the ultimate sacrificial lamb. He took our place up on that cross so that we wouldn’t have to sacrifice any more. He took our sins upon his shoulders so that we could receive God’s free gift of grace. Grace – something we are given but don’t deserve.
Thinking about these things makes me emotional. When I picture Jesus on the cross, I see my name with all my sins scrolling in front of his face, like the ticker on a TV screen. I see the pain and anguish on his face, but cannot begin to fathom it. Jesus took on so much for me so that I could freely live. Communion is just a small reminder of that. I think it’s SO important for our children to understand this – to realize that communion is not just a snack in church once a month. I also strongly feel that it is important for families to practice communion together and to discuss the importance of it.
God has blessed us richly. He doesn’t ask much from us in return. Believe and receive. It’s so simple, yet we are often so opposed to this notion. Communion, for me, is another reminder of that. A reminder of how small I am and how great God is. A reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made because of my sinful nature. A chance to praise and worship God and express my gratitude.
I pray that you will teach your children these truths and they will be impressed on their hearts.
Feature photo is courtesy of http://reformedfaithandlife.blogspot.com/2012/08/intinction-should-we.html?m=1.