Visitors to Grafton Presbyterian Church who trust Jesus and their Lord and Savior are more than welcome to join us in the Lord's Supper.
The Lord’s Supper
The session of Grafton Presbyterian Church has determined that children, under the supervision of their parents, may participate in the Lord’s Supper.
The following explains why the elders believe this appropriate.
In Exodus while Israel were slaves in Egypt, God sent plagues, the last being the Passover (Exodus 12). God gave some instructions to the Israelites.
They were to show their trust in God by killing a lamb, sprinkling its blood around the doorway of their homes and eating the lamb together as households.
The angel of God would pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn, both people and livestock.
But households where the blood of a lamb had been placed around the doorway would be passed over. God’s people were spared destruction, while the Egyptians’ households felt the full extent of God's wrath.
God showed great mercy to His chosen people, by having his judgement pass over them. He went on to lead them out of Egypt thus saving them from slavery.
Each year the Passover was to be celebrated, commemorating and reminding the Israelite's of God's rescuing mercy and grace (Exodus 12:24-27). It was a family celebration that included the whole household. All God's people were to participate in it.
The Lord's Supper
When Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, he and his disciples were celebrating the Passover together (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22).
The powerful imagery of God passing over and sparing his people again was very clearly demonstrated, as Jesus took the bread and the cup, offering His body and blood for the forgiveness of sins.
Because of Jesus, sinners may be now passed over without incurring the destroying wrath of God.
As the Passover was to be celebrated repeatedly by the Israelites, so the Lord's Supper is to be celebrated by God's people as a continual sign of the new covenant established in Jesus and the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf.
It reminds us that Jesus laid down his life to pay for sin and that his was a complete sacrifice that never needs to be repeated.
The bread and wine (grape juice) symbolise and remind us of his body and blood given for us.
Like baptism, The Lord's Supper is celebrated in the context of a reconciled relationship with God achieved by the salvation offered through faith in Jesus Christ. It was given by Jesus to his people to share together.
Unlike baptism however, it is to be repeated often by Christians when they gather together.
Who is the Lord's Supper for?
It is clear that the concept of households hasn't vanished with the coming of the New Testament and God continues to operate through and within family relationships.
Though every person must, at some point in their lives, make a personal commitment to Jesus for salvation, the fact remains that God's people are the Church.
The Church includes those who have made that personal commitment and their children.
Children were included in the year by year celebration of the Passover because they were part of the covenant relationship with God.
Under the new covenant, children of believers are also included in the covenant relationship with God.
The responsibilities of parents!
The inclusion of children in the celebration of the Lord's Supper highlights the responsibility of parents to teach their children well.
It is primarily the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children appreciate the significance of the Lord's Supper.
It can't be expected that young children have the depth of understanding of an adult. But it is expected that they should be taught to take the Supper seriously and it is expected that they continually be reminded of the wonderful Saviour Jesus Christ and the salvation that they can have in Him. A good guide for whether your child is ready is their confession and ability to understand these words from 1 Corinthians 11:28 "A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. "
How will it work?
We encourage families to sit together as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Children will be permitted to participate in the Lord’s Supper under the supervision of their parents. A child must be sitting with their parents to receive bread and grape juice.