“And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.” Exodus 12:26-27
I want to draw your attention to these two verses. In the midst of the Passover being instituted, Moses takes care to mention children. By that I mean not only the ones present at the Exodus, but the children that would be present in each generation as the Passover was observed.
Moses expected that these children would first, see the Passover and, second, that they would ask questions about its significance. He also, charged the Israelites to respond to these questions with an explanation directed to those children.
While these might seem like obvious points to make, they have real significance for the church. While we do not observe the Passover, we observe an even more significant memorial, the Lord’s Supper. We remember Our Savior’s sacrifice through the cross; His blood offered up on our behalf by which the wrath of God was appeased.
Are the children in your church present when the Lord’s Supper is observed? While I’m certainly thankful for ministries like Children’s Church, there are times when children should be, and need to be, included in the main service. This is one of those times.
Not only should our children be present to observe, they should feel like it’s ok to ask questions about it afterwards. Parents in particular can go a long way in nurturing an environment where children feel like questions are encouraged, not shunned. Maybe that means minimizing distractions on the ride home and initiating some questions of your own. Or, maybe it means taking time after a meal at home to reflect, as a family, on the service. Whenever it is, be intentional about it.
And remember, you’re not explaining Algebra or rules for punctuation. This isn’t a scholastic exercise. It’s rehearsing what Our Savior has done; What He has done for His church; What He has done for you.
There is a real danger in not placing the Lord’s Supper before our children in this way. Without it, the institution of the Lord’s Supper can simply become a meaningless tradition–something done because it’s always been done. On the other hand, God can use the clear witness of it and testimony of His people to move in the hearts of another generation.