It all started at my niece’s baptism.
(In full disclosure since Ryan’s accident last spring church has been on the back burner unless we had a wedding, funeral or baptism.)
It was the time in the service for communion. Owen asked, “Can I go up there?” I told him just to sit in the pew with his younger brother and we would be right back. As soon as I got back to the pew he asked again, “When will I be old enough to get communion?” I finally gave in and said I would look into it. Lo and behold the following Monday we got an email from our church that Holy Communion class would be the following Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon.
Our church believes everyone is allowed at the Lord’s Table, regardless of age, so it is up to the parents of the child to decide if he or she is ready to have communion. Feeling like it wasn’t so long ago when I sat through the class with Kale, I figured both younger boys go through the class together so I didn’t have to do it again next year. I signed Owen and Max up for the class. When I got home from work on that Monday I told Owen and Max that they were all signed up for Holy Communion class and we would need to go to church next Sunday for the class. Max was so excited to go, Owen not so much.
All week Max asked about what was going to happen in this class. He seemed really excited to be able to take communion. Sunday seemed to come really fast.
We started the class on a high note, we all shared our name, favorite food and the best present you ever received. There was a wide variety of ages, but most of the kids said pizza was their favorite food and some type of electronic was their favorite gift. Max and Owen followed suit with the pizza but Owen’s favorite gift was the snowmobile we all got last Christmas and Max answered with his bike. Pastor Brian went on to explain that every Sunday when you received communion, it was a gift, and that when invited to the table you don’t have to like the food.
Then he started to talk about how we all liked pizza. He asked what their favorite ingredient was on the pizza. A little boy shouted right away “cheese”. Pastor Brian then asked, “Where does cheese come from?” Another little boy raised his hand, and when called upon he said “the store”. Immediately Owen threw his arm in the air and shook it like a 50-mile-an-hour wind was flailing it back and forth. He nearly jumped out of his chair in order to get Pastor Brian’s attention.
The pastor called on Owen and he blurted out, “Cheese comes from milk and milk comes from a farm.”
With that Max was now caught in the ‘wind’ with his arms flying around above him while jumping up and down in his chair with a look that said, ‘I know more than my big brother’.
“Yes, Max?” Pastor Brian said.
“Milk comes from cows,” Max said.
“Max, where do cows come from?” Pastor Brian asked.
Now the obvious answer for most people in the Lord’s House would be God (keeping in mind the meaning of the reason we were there…).
With a ‘come-on, are-you-really-asking-me-this’ tone, Max replied, “Equity!”
I don’t quite think anyone has ever given me the look that most of the parents in the room were directing my way. Even the Pastor glanced my way.
I was very thankful when Owen piped up and said, “No Max, cows came from God.”
I did have to go on and explain what Equity was to a room filled with confused kids and parents and a Pastor who was probably thinking to himself ‘where did I go wrong?”
After class we painted our wine goblets and left them to dry.
Owen and Max were invited up to the front of church to take communion first. Pastor Brian put a little wine in both of their glasses and presented them with a wafer. Before I knew it, it was over and back to the pew they came with their wine goblets. Like with any wine glass there is always a drop or two left of wine in the glass. As communion carried on, my boys decided to tip those glasses up like raging alcoholics and sucked the glass till it was dry.
I could hear the people behind us giggling at them. I am guessing Ryan and I must have been 10 shades of red, but we had made it; all three boys have had their first communion. My face did eventually loose the red color. Maybe I had finally gotten used to the feeling of embarrassment from my children, or it could have been the support the boys received from the whole congregation and helping them feel special.
Mostly though, I felt better after I put a little extra in the offering plate.