I enjoy teaching first communion classes for families. The children are often excited and eager to learn about this mystery meal. We bake bread, tell stories, and taste foods. I love connecting the meal to the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. We walk through the story of the passion: Palm Sunday parade, the last supper, the trial, crucifixion, and burial.
Then the surprise of Jesus’ resurrection, (which is the name of our congregation I remind the children).
But first communion is just the first step. I like having the parents there since they are rediscovering what the meal is for them. Communion grows in meaning and joy as we participate in it. There may be times we take it for granted, but God never takes us for granted. It is always his gift of grace for us.
Though the focus is on preparing for their first communion, I often ask the question, “do any of you know when your last communion will be?” Together we wonder about the uncertainties of life, yet the constant promise of God to be with us in the Lord’s Supper. I tell them the story of taking communion to people in hospice as they prepare to die. The meal become an appetizer for the feast that is yet to come. When we will all feast with Jesus and drink the new wine.
Jesus said, “I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29)
Lord Jesus, let me taste again the power of your grace and love.