Communion with a Child's Joy

{bread and wine}

I've got a couple confessions: I have skipped church because I knew it was going to be communion. More often, I have wished I knew ahead of time so I could have skipped. I have stayed for the communion service but skipped the foot washing, and most often have just felt unexplainably awkward through communion services. But why? I've never known, or worried enough to think about it more.

Until Brylee entered the picture. Ever heard of child-like faith? My little girl has it. It's so wonderful to hear her so excited about Jesus' birthday (Christmas) or to hear her ask questions like Where does God live? and Can we go to Heaven and see Him? She loves Sabbath, always asking, "Is it Sabbath?" Then running around excitedly telling each of us, "Happy Sabbath!" when we finally answer yes, it is Sabbath. She loves Sabbath School and learning memory verses and singing songs about Jesus and learning stories about Him. And she loves communion.

When she sees the tables dressed in white at the front of the church, she excitedly asks, "Are we washing our feet today?!"

Slowly, but surely, she's rubbing off on me. We arrive at church, drop Brylee off at her new Sabbath School  (she promoted to the kindergarten class), then do laps around the church foyer to entertain Ian (we arrived late and Ian's Sabbath School was overfull). The tables are prepared and I comment to Daniel how excited Brylee will be that we "get to wash our feet today." At this point I haven't noticed my thoughts or feelings toward communion one way or the other.

Then, a couple different people comment, "Did you know it's communion Sabbath?" or "I didn't realize it was communion today." It's often said in a way that articulates all too clearly what most feel about communion: it's something to be avoided.

{clean water}

Not for Brylee. No way, she wants more communion and especially more foot washing. We sing the opening songs, then the pastor says his homily and we're dismissed for the "ordinance of humility." While some take this as their opportunity to escape out the side door, Brylee is practically bounding toward the foot washing room dedicated to families. As Daniel washes my feet, we tell Brylee about how Jesus washed His friends' feet and why we do it too.
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. {John 13:13-14}

When I add our water to the designated dirty water bucket, I wonder what that dirty water would look like if it actually contained all of our sins. What if the sins that were symbolically washed away were literally left in that water? Can you image the disgusting muck that would be left behind? But it is literal. It's hard for us to see and understand, but with just a small dose of Brylee's child-like faith I saw a glimpse. A glimpse of the amazing thing Christ does for us daily, hourly. The washing of our real, disgusting sins. The gunk of our lives that bogs us down and covers us in stink and makes us look and act like fools. It's all left behind in that water.

Does Brylee understand all of that? I know I don't. But she doesn't need to, and learning from her, I don't either. It just takes a little child-like faith to simply know that this foot washing thing is pretty great.

Daniel washes Brylee's feet, then she helps me wash Daniel's. She is just so happy to take part. We pray together and thank Jesus for washing the crud from our lives, then we make our way back to the sanctuary for the communion service.

{breaking bread}

We have our unleavened bread in hand, ready for the pastor's direction, which was first Jesus'...
Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me. {1 Corinthians 11:24}
Did you ever think that Jesus could have asked for more from us? His body was in all literal terms broken and given in place of ours. He could have easily requested that we make some sacrifice to remember His ultimate sacrifice. Perhaps a period of fasting or some small infliction of pain. But He didn't. He simply gave His friends bread and said,
This is My body which is given for you; [eat] in remembrance of Me. {Luke 22:19}
And the blood He shed for us through the breaking of His body? He holds the cup of wine and says,
This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. {Luke 22:20}

{true love}

Seriously?! He gave up His body to save mine in the unfairest of all trades, and all He asks of me is to eat and drink and remember what He did?! In that moment, Brylee still glowing from the foot washing service, I realize, again with a small gift of child-like faith, that my avoidance of communion has been, well, childish. And petty. And simply appalling when I realize I've been given gifts upon gifts, and through it all I want Jesus to understand that taking part in communion is just too much to ask?

Just too much to ask.

Those words sting, and they're not even meant for me. They're childish and petty, and a thing of the past. Because, I got a glimpse of my little girl's child-like faith. Simply trusting that a foot washing service is something great and worth getting excited about. Simply believing that bread and wine are enough to remember. Fully trusting and believing that it all points to one thing: Jesus. That He is great and worth getting excited about, and He is simply enough.

{Shine Jesus shine!}