Hustle, Hustle, grab your shoes, gotta make it to church on time!
This Mama's glossed lips and sweet smelling perfume can't cover the simple fact: Satan loves to stir up confusion in Christian homes on Sunday mornings. When Mama's herding her family out the door for church, there's short patience with short people, hurried makeup and hair, and the dishes from breakfast stacked in the sink. Little boys missing socks, my big man missing us, as he waits in the car with a honk, honk, honk. We finally topple out the front door and he points to our middle child, with hair sticking sideways. I shrug and push them all forward toward the car with a pinched up angry face, then run back inside for my Bible.
Sunday morning Chaos!
Especially that first Sunday of each month, when we keep the boys from their Sunday School class' and bring them into "Big Church" with us.
First Sunday is more than just 12 chances a year to learn to sit still and listen to deep teaching.
First Sunday of each month is confessing together that Jesus is Lord, in the breaking of bread.
First Sunday is communion.
As the silver tray is passed down our pew the boys' eyes go wide with anticipation. They think it's fun, such a treat. And it is, they will find, as they mature in faith. Such a joy to remember God's best gift to us. So I lean in close, as they take the little piece of bread and the tiny plastic cup of grape juice, and I remind them to wait until everyone's been served. And as we wait, the littlest licking his bread when he thinks I'm not looking, I whisper to our oldest, "This is God's body, broken for you. And this is God's blood shed for you. We do this every month to remember God's gift of Salvation. How He died on the cross to pay for your sin and mine. We do this because we are so thankful." Just down the row my husband is whispering this communion truth to our second born. Then I turn to find my little guy, just six, now dipping his finger into his cup, smiling 'cause it's a foretaste of heaven.
He sees me then, and pulls his finger away,
back to his lap, caught in the act.
But as he does his communion cup spills.
Red. On my white slacks.
I want to scold, but by God's Grace I smile instead, and whisper, "This is God's body, broken for you. And this is God's blood spilled for you." Then I exchange his empty cup for mine and he smiles. And I realize, this picture of Grace is the communion truth we preach. Forgiveness, because we've first been forgiven. Patience, because our Father in heaven is so patient with us.
Baptized by my child with this Communion Sunday truth.
This picture is one of my most treasured. My child, with a tattoo on his cheek and a princess ring on his finger, bowing his head at VBS, praying his little sinner's prayer. Fully child. Confessing faith. We often debate when to baptize our children, and when to invite them into communion, and when we can be convinced of their salvation. But in their childlike faith, even before there is fruit to be seen in their young lives, they are the picture of what God says is heaven-worthy.
And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)
Let us stop obsessing over the fruit we long to see in our children's lives, and start focusing instead on baring fruit in our own. In our homes, and in our cars, and on our pews each Sunday morning. Communion truth, isn't passed down the pew, it's passed down from parent to child. Then spills back over from child onto parent. Baptized.
If you snapped at your children on the way into church yesterday, and brought them home with even less grace... God's grace is still extended to you. And he's willing to take your spilled communion cup and exchange it for a fresh measure of forgiveness and strength.
Believe it today, and preach it back to me lest I forget.