Children and the adult weird-ification of communion

Came across this great piece about children and communion through Nadia Bolz-Weber, who said, “Children should not be allowed to receive the Eucharist because they don’t understand what it means, my ass. Anyone who runs to it or yells ‘thanks!’ gets it more than I.” Is it the kids who do the “weird” things, or do we adults weird-ify communion? Weird is in the eye of the beholder.

Here is some cool stuff kids teach me about communion based on things that have happened to me:

  1. Run down the isle. It is okay to run down the isle for communion. In fact shouldn’t we all be running to feast with Christ? Next time, don’t walk to communion – run.
  2. Take communion with a stuffed animal. This should be acceptable, as long as the stuff animal is served communion as well. Kids understand that everyone is welcomed to the table. Human and teddy bear alike.
  3. Drink every drop. It is critical that every drop of grape juice and morsel of bread is consumed at communion. Who cares is people are waiting behind you to move back to their pews, you do not leave that table until you have been able to take ever last moment you can with Christ..
  4. Ask for a “big piece”. Why settle for just a little bit of Christ? Don’t we all want a “big piece” of Christ?
  5. Dunk the whole piece into the cup. If you get to dip the bread into the juice, soak that bread and be sure to no worry about drips or stains (see points 3 and 4 for justification).
  6. Seek out the leftovers. The bread of Life is too good to discard in the trash or fed to the birds. That is why we eat all the bread after worship.
  7. Being shy is okay. Kids understand that it is an honor to be at the table of God and they do not demand a place but know that it is a treat to be there. Being shy to kids is like being humble to adults. Humility at the table of God? Great idea.
  8. Laugh. Partaking in the banquet of God is a joyful event! Smile, laugh and if you need to, put a rubber crocodile on your head and make the pastor laugh with you.
  9. Express thanks. One thumbs up at the meal is something, but two thumbs up is great.
  10. Save some for later. Putting bread into your pocket seems like a reasonable way to take Christ into the world.

3 thoughts on “Children and the adult weird-ification of communion”

  1. yes yes yes! Oh, that children would continue to teach us how to behave appropriately in the presence of Jesus!

  2. What a great list! I loved teaching the intergenerational communion class I created so that BOTH children and their adult/s could be learning, or remembering, what it truly means to come and to welcome everyone to God’s banquet table to CELEBRATE!

  3. Last year I wandered past the kitchen before the worship service and saw an 8 year old and a 7 year old preparing the elements for communion—one child was carefully arranging cubes of bread on a platter while the other was concentrating (with her tongue sticking out on one side of her mouth) on squirting grape juice into each small cup. Turns out the adult preparation team had seen the kids waiting in hallway and had asked if they would mind helping. Watching those two children of God receive the elements which they prepared along with the rest of God’s family was priceless. The look in their eyes and the smile on their faces said, “I belong.”

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