Explaining The Lord's Supper (Communion) to Children
An Explanation of The Lord's Supper A Child Can Understand
You might be a child who is trying to answer this question about The Lord's Supper, or you might be a parent or teacher who wants to know how to talk to children about this topic.
I hope this site is helpful to you. If you are looking for other free lesson ideas (sunday school lessons for children, for example), you might also want to check out sundayschool-lessons.com
Feel free to send me suggestions and ideas or even questions.
-- Teresa Klassen
How Do You Remember Your Friends?
Have you ever had a friend who moved away? It is always hard when someone moves away, but the great thing is that friendships can grow, even when we are apart from each other. What are some things you have done to remember friends who have moved away?
- Maybe you have a picture of them around the house; maybe it is a picture of something special you did together, and every time you look at the picture, you remember them and what a good day that was and then you remember a lot of other good days too.
- Maybe you have a letter or an email from them and as you read it, you remember being with them and it brings a smile to your face; it makes you want to see them again.
- Maybe they bought you a gift at one point and it is sitting on your shelf. Every time you look at it, you think of your friend.
There are people who are very special to us and, even if they aren't right in the room with us, we love talking about them and remembering all the things we have done with them.
Our Friend Jesus
Jesus is a friend like that. He is someone we don't want to forget; we don't want to forget what He did for us. Jesus loved you before you even knew about Him (Read Ephesians 1:4). Jesus wanted to be in a close friendship with you even before you knew that you could have a friendship with Him (Read John 3:16).
He saw that the world was full of sin (Read Romans 3:23). People were doing every kind of evil thing and this had created a huge, huge divide between people and God. There was no way for people to fix the problem, because everyone sins and God does not. He hates evil and sin and won't keep company with it. Sin is everything we do that is wrong, whether those are big or little things. Sin wrecks everything in its path. (Read Romans 6:23).
But God loves us. I can't even describe how much God loves us (Read Ephesians 2:4). He loves us so much that He went to drastic measures to fix our sin problem and to show us a new path; a path that leads to goodness and life with God.
So Jesus came. He came to show us what God was like in a way we could understand (Read John 14:9). . He came to tell us about God's love and to tell us to turn away from sin. He also told us that He was going to pay the ultimate price for our sin; and He did. He died on a cross for you and me. He was totally innocent, but because He loved us so much, He chose to do that to fix our broken friendship (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:10).
So now, when we see that forgiveness and admit our sin and invite Him to lead our lives, Jesus comes into our life and sticks with us (Read Romans 8:39). and guides us and helps us and loves. We aren't perfect, that's for sure, that's why Jesus' forgiveness washes us clean over and over again (Read Titus 3:5). . That's why we want to learn from Him and live the way He asks us to.
That is a friend we want to remember; that is a friend we want to thank over and over!
The Lord's Supper (also known as "Communion"): Remembering Jesus
Before Jesus died on the cross, He gave us something to remember Him by. He knew that we would need something like that because people tend to be forgetful, even about the most important things.
He had a supper with His closest friends (His followers were known as "disciples") and while they were eating He took a loaf of bread and broke it in two (To read about the Lord's Supper in the Bible, see Matthew 26:17-30).
Most people eat bread of some kind and so He chose this as a reminder for us. He said, "When you come together and eat together, I want this broken bread to remind you of what I have done for you." He told them that He would die for our sins. He would be beaten and treated very cruelly, taking our punishment upon Himself. His body would be broken, literally nailed to the cross. So, when we eat the broken bread, it reminds us of His broken body.
Most people drink something with dinner, and on that evening Jesus and His friends had some wine. He took a cup of wine and said, "When you drink, remember that my own blood was poured out for you. When you drink, remember that. Remember that I loved you so much that I gave up my very blood for you."
That's a lot of love!!
This supper, when He said those words, became known as the "Last Supper" or the "Lord's Supper". There are other names for it too; some people call it "Communion."
We eat and drink every day, right? But as people who love Jesus and follow Him, we choose to have a special meal (it isn't really a meal is it, it is just a reminder of a meal) to do just what Jesus did: break bread to remember His broken body, and drink juice to remember His blood that was spilled for us because of our sin. At the end of the Lord's Supper we have remembered the best thing we could ever know: Jesus died for us and forgave us and loves us.
Where Do We Have The Lord's Supper
There aren't any rules about where you can share the Lord's Supper, but it is usually something we share with others who want to do the same thing: remember Jesus.
So, often that happens in church. But just as easily it can happen with a group of friends who love Jesus and just want to thank Him again for giving His life for us.
How Does The Lord's Supper Work?
Different churches share in the Lord's Supper in slightly different ways (if you are Catholic, I understand it can be quite different from what I am describing here. There are great websites describing what Communion means to our Catholic friends, so I won't go into that here), but usually it goes something like this:
There is some broken bread
There is some juice
Sometimes you go to the front to get it.
Sometimes it is served to you.
In many churches, people take a piece of bread and a little glass of juice. Usually someone gives some instructions about it: eat and drink right away, or wait until everyone is served. In some churches, like the one I am a part of, we dip the bread in the juice rather than handing out a lot of little cups.
Someone reminds us of the words that Jesus said before He died, and then we all eat and drink together to remember the absolutely awesome thing Jesus did for us when His body was broken for us and His blood was spilled for us.
Is There Anything Else A Child Should Know About The Lord's Supper?
Having a "right" heart
The Lord's Supper isn't something we should just do without thinking. You should think about it and what it means.
You should think about Jesus' forgiveness and ask yourself, "Am I also forgiving?" The Bible says that when you are sharing in the Lord's Supper and if you know you have been mean to someone or you are holding a grudge; if there is someone you should ask forgiveness from, then you should make up your mind right then and there to do it; and then do it!
If you are being stubborn and you are deciding just to be mad at someone, you should probably not take the Lord's Supper that day because that would be like saying, "Jesus I really want your forgiveness, but I don't want to forgive other people." Take a pass on the Lord's Supper until your heart has become soft and you make things right with the person you are at odds with.
How Old Should I Be Before I Take The Lord's Supper?
There isn't really a right or wrong age.
If you understand what we have been talking about in this little explanation about the Lord's Supper and you want to remember Jesus and thank Him for what He did for you by dying for your sins, then you are ready.
If it is confusing to you, that's OK; keep asking questions until you understand that it is a time to remember what Jesus has done for you. When you understand that, then join in!
Other Helpful Links
If you are looking for more information on how to teach children about the Bible and/or free sunday school lesson ideas for children, please visit the following site. It was written for people like you!