Colton and I attended a first communion retreat on Saturday. We talked about the meaning of communion and the ritual of it. We read bible passages and Pastor Mary put them in context for our kiddos- and me too perhaps. So often I think a new perspective on an old story helps me to see with fresh eyes.
As part of our retreat we made communion flatbread, made special cups out of clay to use the next day, and gathered in the pews for a chat of how the service would go.
And Pastor Mary asked the kids what was on their minds?
The biggest concern?
"Do we really drink the wine?"
She earnestly tells the 4th graders- yes!
"What does it taste like?"
Well- its strong- and you might make a funny face.
And so on...
Nobody asked how the flat bread would taste. Wine was on the mind.
Sunday we arrived at church and were surprised to find Grandma waiting for us.
We sat and worshipped together.
It was soon time for communion.
Colton would come with our family and we would take part together.
My mom was new to our communion practices as well.
My mother is gluten intolerant and needed one of the special wafers and Rick and I were trying to help her while still focusing on Colton.
First mom went.
Normally we practice intinction- dipping our wafer in the chalice of wine- getting a few drops each.
But on Sunday, each of us were given our own separate plastic glasses, and it was a mouthful of wine instead of a sip.
It was over in the blink of an eye.
Afterwards we asked Colton...
So how was the wine?
"Good, he replied. I liked it!" he says with a big cheesy grin.
My sensitive and somewhat picky eater surprised me.
I wasn't sure I liked the idea he liked the taste of wine.
Later in the evening as we sat while Colton did homework we talked again.
"So what did you think about communion for the first time today Colton?"
"Good. It was good. And I like wine."
"But mom? What kind of grapes do they use to make it WHITE?"
I'm confused for a moment- the wine had clearly been red.
Colton, which glass did you choose?
"The one off to the side you know, just like the one Grandma took!"
Suddenly its all clear. He took JUICE. Grape juice. No wonder he liked it!
I told him he hadn't actually tasted the wine.
He looked a little crestfallen.
But in the moment, on the spot, I tried to speak to his 10-year-old heart.
It didn't really matter if it was RED or WHITE.
WINE or JUICE.
I told him it mattered that he was eager.
That he desired to participate.
That he had a heart for Jesus.
That he was learning...
He smiled and nodded.
"And, I'm learning, don't follow Grandma!"