“I really want that juice,” my 3-year-old son whispered as the communion trays were passed. “We will talk about it later,” I whispered back, and then bowed my head while the rest of the congregation received their elements.
“Drink this cup in remembrance of me,” the pastor repeated the words Jesus spoke at the Last Supper (except in English), and in unison the congregation drank their shots of grape juice. All across the sanctuary you could hear the familiar click of tiny plastic cups settling into specially-sized holders on the back of each pew.
We said a prayer, sang a few hymns, and were busily turning the pages of our Bibles to the sermon text, when I heard the clicking sound again.
And again. It was then that I noticed my son making his way along the row, picking up each cup and finishing off any remaining drops of juice.
My three teenagers were desperately trying not to snicker, and my 5-year-old began tugging on my arm and whispering loudly, “Mommy! Mommy! Hudson is licking all the communion cups!”
After church, Hudson and I had a talk. I explained that communion is a time when Christians remember that Jesus died for us. I try not to encourage or discourage my very young children in their faith. I just present the Scriptural truths as I understand them, teach them the basic stories and principles, and let the rest work out in its own way and time.
If they ask questions, I answer them. Hudson seemed content and didn’t ask any questions for the next year.
Last week, as we were getting ready for bed, my now-4-year-old said, “Mommy, I want to pray with you.” I knelt next to him and listened to his basic bedtime prayer. “Dear Jesus, Thank you for daddy, and mommy, and my brother and sisters. Thank you for our house. Thank you that mommy not make me eat all my vegetables at dinner time. Amen.”