Kids and Communion
Parents, communion can be an amazing time of worship and reflection for your children. The key is to help them understand what’s happening. Kids experiencing communion for the first time might be confused why they can or can’t participate or even why, as more than one young child has thought, the adults are having a snack time of juice and crackers at the end of service.
Communion is a time of personal introspection (1 Corinthians 11:27-29). But when we partake of communion, we do so as a body of believers, communally. As one, we recognize Jesus’ sacrifice and what it means to us (1 Corinthians 11:26).
To help your children understand communion better, here are some thoughts that you can share with your child(ren). By going over what communion is and its meaning, your children will have a better appreciation for what’s going on.
What is Communion?
Jesus chose to institute communion during the last Passover He celebrated with His disciples. Passover is a yearly celebration during which Jews remember God's deliverance of their nation from Egypt, and how the angel passed over those homes that had been marked with blood from a lamb. Jesus, through His actions at this supper, showed Himself to be that sacrificial lamb. As Jesus took the bread and shared it with His friends He told them, "This is My body, which is given for you" (Luke 22:19). The bread represented or, as stated before, is a picture of the body of Jesus. It was not actually the body of Jesus. Jesus' further command in Luke 22:19 was, "Do this in remembrance of Me."
Every time Christians celebrate communion, it is important to help them know that the bread and cup are not the actual body and blood of Jesus but serve as reminders that Jesus gave up His life on the cross so that all people could have salvation. The Lord's Supper, like baptism, is an ordinance of the church and is also to be celebrated following a person's salvation.
Explaining Communion to Kids
Communion is a way for us to remember what Jesus did for us. Communion is when we join together to remember how Jesus sacrificed for us by dying on the cross. Communion is also called the Lord's Supper because we eat together at church just like Jesus did with His disciples the night before He died.
Jesus told us we should continue to eat this special meal of bread and wine (or grape juice) to always remember Him. The bread reminds us of Jesus' body, and the wine reminds us of His blood. Jesus gave His body and His blood away when He died for our sins. He did this to take the punishment we all deserve so that we won't have to be punished when we die, but will go to Heaven with Him.
We should be very serious when we're taking Communion. It's not a time to be silly or to talk to other people. It's a time to pray and thank God for His love and for sending His Son Jesus for us. It's a special time of worship and remembering.