Grace City Articles

Children and the Lord’s Supper

  / March 26, 2024

The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic meal shared by Christians in remembrance of Jesus’ death. Its roots can be traced back to the Passover meal at the time of the Exodus, but it was given a new meaning at the last supper of Jesus. As explained by Jesus, the bread represents his body, and the wine (or juice in our case) represents his blood. By sharing in this meal together, we are given a visible and tangible sign of God’s grace given to us in the death of Jesus.

At Grace City, our practice is normally to share in the Lord’s Supper every 4–8 weeks. Children have not typically been included in the Lord’s Supper simply due to the fact that they are normally taking part in our City Kids programs, and are therefore not normally present when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.

On Good Friday this year, we will have children present with us for our 9am service. When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper together this coming Good Friday, we are inviting any believing parents to include their children in sharing the Lord’s Supper together.

We do this because we believe that the children of believers are counted among the Lord’s people, and are therefore welcome at the table of the Lord. As Jesus said in Mark 10:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Children were in fact included in the celebration of the Passover, which was the precursor to the Lord’s Supper. The children of Israel were encouraged to ask their parents at the Passover, “What does this ceremony mean to you?” and the parents would respond by telling them the story of God’s salvation in the Exodus (Exodus 12:26–27). This gives us a beautiful picture of how children might not just be included, but also discipled through sharing in the Lord’s Supper.

With this in mind, we invite believing parents to include their children in eating the bread and drinking the juice on Good Friday as members of God’s family, celebrating and remembering Jesus’ death on our behalf. The meaning of the Lord’s Supper will be explained on the day, in a way that makes sense to both adults and children. Parents will be able to sit with their children, either in the auditorium or in our breakout space.

We also encourage parents to discuss this with your children beforehand, using this as an opportunity to disciple them and tell them of God’s salvation in Jesus. You could explain the bread and juice as being like “pictures” or “reminders” of what Jesus did on the cross for us. This is an important way in which parents can be helping their children to “examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:28).

Having said this, we also recognise that not all parents will want to include their children in the Lord’s Supper at this point in time. This may be for practical reasons (i.e. if the child is an infant), or it may be for reason of convictions, particularly if parents have chosen not to baptise their children. We respect this decision and want to pursue unity in Christ. We do not want this to become an unnecessary point of division. To ensure no children feel left out or excluded, we will also have pieces of hot cross bun available to give your children as an alternative to taking the Lord’s Supper.

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is something to be celebrated among the family of God, and so we respectfully ask that those who don’t yet call themselves a Christian abstain from sharing in the Lord’s Supper at this point in time, and we would ask this to be extended to their children as well. These children are by all means welcome to take a piece of hot cross bun.

We also recognise that some parents may have questions or wish to explore these issues more. In light of that, we welcome any parents to direct any questions to Charles Cleworth via email at charles.cleworth@gracecity.com.au.