November 1, 2012

Big Faith Steps

When I was young (I don't remember my exact age), I was sitting in church with my parents, and it was a communion Sunday.  I was getting pretty hungry as it was almost lunchtime, and sometimes my mom would share the juice and bread with me from communion, so I was pretty excited as the plates were passed from row to row, moving ever closer to where we sat near the back of the church.  But then, shockingly, my mother did not share!

Later, after lunch, Mom came into my room and talked with me about what communion represented.  That people who have made the choice to accept God's love for them, and believe that Jesus died for them, to save them, can take communion, as a way to remember what Jesus has done.  I decided then and there that I believed Jesus is who he said he is, and I wanted to have him always with me, my forever friend.

Fast forward twenty years...

Aria was three, sitting at the dinner table one evening when she prayed and asked Jesus to be her forever friend, always with her, and asked for him to forgive her sins.  It was such an incredible thing to be able to lead our own child through the steps of believing that Jesus had died for her, and accepting him as her savior, especially since Jeremy and I have had the privilege of talking through this decision with several children, and youth about this before.  It has been so incredible to see Aria grow in her faith and purity as she delights herself in her Best Friend, and his incredible love for her!

So the huge event this past summer was that Aria got to take communion for the first time!  Usually Aria goes to VAC Kids during the service, so she doesn't normally have opportunity to take communion.  But in the summer its a different story.  So, I was thinking she would get to take communion at the beginning of July, but we had just arrived home from Calgary that day, and so by the time we got to church on Saturday night Aria was pretty tired.  About halfway through the preach, she fell asleep!  So, I let her nap.

Our next communion service was at the beginning of August, and in a rare event for our family, Jeremy, Aria and I sat together... for an ENTIRE SERVICE!  


That alone is blog-worthy!  But, it was also a special moment for us to be able to talk through communion with our little girl and about the significance of participating in the sacrament as a follower of Jesus.  Its sometimes difficult for kids to grasp  the metaphor of communion: Am I actually drinking Jesus blood?  I think the key teachable moment for kids comes in Jesus' command to "Do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22; 1 Corinthians 11).  We make a pattern of remembrance in the life of our church to reflect on what Christ has done and is continuing to do for the Body, as a community!  
It is a moment of affinity and unity.  

I think that is why celebrating this with Aria and Jeremy, together, both parents with our child, made this such a significant moment for me.  Not just because my daughter is making these faith steps, but that we are getting to do them together.  And that her faith is coming alongside ours.  Not only am I her mom, but her sister, equally adopted and loved by our Father.  Blows my mind!

What a great God we serve.  To be called His children.

Here's a tidbit about celebrating communion taken from my favorite children's Bible:
 Then Jesus picked up some bread and broke it.  He gave it to his friends.  He picked up a cup of wine and thanked God for it.  He poured it out and shared it.
"My body is like this bread.  It will break,"Jesus told them.  "This cup of wine is like my blood.  It will pour out."
"But this is how God will rescue the whole world.  My life will break and God's broken world will mend.  My heart will tear apart - and your hearts will heal.  Just as the passover lamb died, so now I will die instead of you.  My blood will wash away all of your sins.  And you'll be clean on the inside - in your hearts."
"So whenever you eat and drink, remember," Jesus said, "I've rescued you!"
- the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones