Children should ask about the meaning of Communion


By Leonard Lauriault

Religion columnist


Congregations such as the one where my family and I attend follow the example of the New Testament church by coming together every Sunday, the first day of the week, to partake of the Lord’s Supper (Communion; breaking bread ) in memory of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection as the sacrifice for our sins (Acts 20:1-7; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:17-26; 16:1-2). Note in Acts 20:6 that they stayed in Troy (Troas) seven days before assembling to break bread. It’s likely that they arrived on a Monday, missing the previous day’s worship service. It’s not likely that they got “lucky” and arrived in time for a quarterly or annual Communion service.

Anyway, our four-year-old grandson attends with us occasionally and when he was with us recently, as the bread was passed, he asked, “What is that and what about me?” I try to answer that kind of question whenever it’s asked by children of any age. So, I responded that we eat that bread and drink the juice that’s coming next to remember Jesus and that when he becomes a Christian, he can have some too. (That last part can be somewhat dangerous because some children will want to be baptized just so they can take Communion even though they cannot grasp the full nature of sin and atonement; but in this case, I’m fairly certain I’ll get to guide him as he becomes more inquisitive about salvation.)

Now, back to the timeframe and the question; generally, we view the Lord’s Supper as a time to judge ourselves and seek forgiveness so we can give proper recognition to Jesus’ body and blood given on the cross (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). We also try to maintain a quiet atmosphere so others can meditate and by so doing, we’re giving proper recognition to the other members of the body (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23).

So, it bothered me a little to answer his question at the time it was asked. Then, I remembered that Communion is based upon Passover, which included a guideline to tell the children about its meaning (Exodus 12:43 to 13:10). After all, Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection are all about our grandson and the other “children” of the world (Matthew 18:1-6; 19:13-14).

Answering such questions also fits with 1 Peter 3:15 and 2 Timothy 4:1-5, which tell us to always be ready to give the answer for the hope we have in Jesus, even if the time doesn’t seem right. We also recognize Jesus’ return during Communion, which is very important (2 Timothy 4:6-8). If others know we’re looking forward to his return by the way we live, they’re more likely to ask about it.

Do others know you’re looking forward to Jesus’ return?

I hope our grandson and all other “children” keep asking the questions and I hope I’ll always be ready to give the answer. After all, our life is to be all about Jesus and leading others to him (1 Corinthians 2:2; 9:19-27).

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at

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