Children and the Lord’s Table

sermon-series-thesacraments
This Sunday, the sermon will be on the Lord’s Supper. I will be discussing Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper, what the Supper means for us, and why children should be welcomed at the table – a decision that was unanimously approved by the RRC Consistory earlier this month. Children being invited to the Lord’s Supper is new to some of us. We want to provide resources to help you personally understand (1) why we are making this change at RRC and (2) how you can talk to your children about coming to the Table. 
 
From now on, when we serve communion we will state that, “All who have put their faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior are welcomed at this Table.” The decision concerning whether an individual child has put their faith in Jesus and understands the meaning of the table will be left up to the parents (or guardians) of the child. A simple conversation with your child will make that clear. If you believe they have put their faith in Jesus, you are welcomed to have them come forward with you. We will be serving communion by intinction (dipping) on Sunday, June 5.
 
Below is a link to three valuable resources from the RCA. We will have all of these available in printed form in the lobby this Sunday and next. The resources include:
 
Both the RCA and the CRC denominations have long encouraged Children at the Lord’s Table. Nearly 3 decades ago the Commission on Theology wrote the following in their Report to the 1988 General Synod of the RCA:
 
What is required of anyone to partake of the Lord’s Supper is faith in and love for the Savior, ability to experience the Savior’s love expressed in the bread and the cup, and the sense of belonging to the covenant community. The believing and discerning of the child can be as fully authentic as that of the adult, but the believing and discerning will be at the level appropriate to the child’s age. Children can show the kind of love, trust, and thankfulness appropriate to their place in the family of God. They can love Jesus and experience Jesus’ love in return. We are reminded of Jesus’ words, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:14). They can be loved by parents, friends, and other members of the body of Christ who have taken responsibility for their nurture as children in the church. They can commit themselves meaningfully to Christ and obey and serve their Lord. Indeed, current research in cognitive development affirms the importance of the church’s sacramental life for nurturing children in the faith.
 
That’s a profound statement. Perhaps children are as well equipped as adults to grasp the mystery of the Table! 
 
I’m excited about this sermon series, and even more excited about the powerful experience of God’s grace our children will experience at the Lord’s Table.
 
In Christ Love,
Pastor Paul