As you will know if you are a regular reader, I am now entering my sixth month on staff in a church Somewhere in Scotland, having left behind Another Place where I worshipped for a very long time and was a staff member for a few years.
The lovely people I work with here are no doubt used to Lynn's plaintive "why not...?" or "why don't I/we....?"
And so after the obligatory "let it settle" a.k.a. "Keep Quiet" three months I kinda wondered if all age communion was a possibility. Never being one to keep quiet for all that long, I asked when I could do this. I think there's a moral here. Children's pastors can be very annoying.
As in my last place, I am blessed here with a senior pastor who is very freeing (as long as you're (a) not in heresy and (b) open to his right to veto and (c) be kind by providing chocolate from time to time, you can exercise leadership in your area of responsibility.)
Communion with children present was something I was used to doing; not every time we celebrated communion but certainly twice a year in corporate worship. It's with amazement as I reflect on the past week that I realised I wrote about this almost exactly one year ago - please see
hereparticularly for a link to the very helpful questions posed by Stuart Murray Williams on children and communion.
I also find myself thinking back to Calvin (gasp, from those who know me) and to his "marks of the church" - I do agree that a mark of the church, is the regular celebration of the sacraments, and - to be honest - it irks me should a very large proportion (I'm dealing with three figures worth) of the congregation don't get to even SEE communion or baptism, unless they come to an evening service.
So thanks to The State That I Am In for his very honest reflection on what it was like for him as a parent preparing his child for what I planned to do on Sunday. What he has posted gladdens my heart as I yearn for parents to interact as faithfully as he and his wife did so sensitively with their precious children. He talks of how his daughter said "yes, I love Jesus" - demonstrating that "even" a young child is capable of understanding the sacrifice made by him. Sure, long discussions about blood are not necessary or appropriate to a child at the affiliative stage of faith development, but didn't Jesus himself say that things of the kingdom were understandable by the very young? Do we need to rediscover simplicity? Do we need to re-learn that the complicated, weighty, learned strategising that we do in so many areas of our lives are not necessarily "kingdom"?
His teaching was beautiful in its simplicity, pictoral in its parables and understandable to his listeners. I love him so much for his ability to bring accessibility to kingdom things before the word accessibility became politically correct.............
What does your church do with regard to children and communion?