10.23.2007

Run to Jesus

For the past few years, our church has been in the habit of serving
communion every Sunday, and doing it by what is known as "intinction,"
which practically means we go up to the front to take it rather than
it being brought to our pews. I won't bore you with the theology
behind it; I write instead to report Jada's endearing habit of racing
down the aisle to the front to take part. Wiggling, giggling, and
then stopping on a dime to receive her bread and dip it into the cup,
as other congregants smile approvingly.

As her legs kick into warp speed, I can't help but think of Jesus'
rebuke to those listeners of His who once sought to shoo kids away for
distracting them from the spiritual discussion: "Let the children
alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of
heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14). In other words,
Jesus turned that which many felt was a nuisance to the faith into an
example of the faith.

Does Jada fully understand what is going on in this profound and
serious rite? Hardly. Yet her participation moves her in that
direction, as does our explanation of it when we return to our seats.
And it is part of our responsibility as parents, having had Jada
baptized, to now teach her what it is she has been baptized into. As
I have written before:

"The notion of waiting until you can mentally assent to a particular
religion is a very postmodern one. The notion of parents making life
decisions on behalf of their families seems very old-fashioned, even
outdated. But it is what you see in the Bible. And as our pastor
points out, the invitation to participate in God's Kingdom has always
expanded over time -- from one man to one family to one people group
to all people groups. It would seem strange, then, for it to change
course and retract, such that children, once welcomed from Day 1 into
God's family, would now have to wait until they are old enough to
choose into this family for themselves." (Huang Kid Khronicles, 4/6/06)

Again, as Jada tears down the aisle, I do not often think of the
mechanics behind the theology. But I do often think that, for a 2 1/2
year old, this is what it looks like to run to Jesus, and I am
challenged and encouraged to do the same.

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