September 1, 2016

Never Too Young for Communion

As the church, we gather together to worship God because God is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. In our time of worship, God’s time, we are given the promised gift of God’s presence in the Word and the Sacrament. God in Christ Jesus has promised to be with us in these moments. In the celebration of Holy Communion the grace of Christ’s eternal sacrifice is mediated to us through the bread and wine, Christ’s body and blood.

This gift of grace through Holy Communion is given to the gathered Body of Christ, the baptized. Therefore, the Body of Christ is fed with the Body of Christ. At the baptismal font, parents make promises to bring their children to the services of God’s house. It is here that the means of grace — baptism, communion and proclamation of the Word — are offered. When parent and child are ready for the child to come to the table, that gift should be offered. As Lutheran Christians we never back away from the radical nature of what grace truly is: a gift from God and God alone. This is a gift that cannot be earned in any way other than through Christ. This means that no amount of education or level of mental, spiritual, or emotional well-being can make one worthy or prepared to receive the grace of Christ through communion. It is a gift for the baptized.

This understanding is faithful to our Lutheran Confessional understanding of justification by grace. With that understanding as our foundation, the pastoral staff agrees that the age of First Communion is whenever a child’s parent feels that the child is ready to receive this gift. This accurately reflects our sacramental theological understanding in practice and witness to the Gospel. 
 
Grace and Peace,
 
Pastors Charlie Woodward and Jay Shailer