I gave a toddler communion yesterday. Nothing unusual in that as it is standard Methodist practise. As she was unable to reach over the top of the communion rail I stooped down and handed the bread to her from underneath. As I said the words that I use for children, “this is to show that Jesus loves you” it was a mystical moment. As her eyes caught mine it dawned on me again the mystery of faith for that little child. She didn’t comprehend the depths of theological insight or grapple with the concepts of the Trinity, nor did she understand her own faith journey. Yet a sacramental moment was experienced not at the communion rail but underneath it. It was a reminder to me that grace can be found in unexpected places.
There are sometimes arguments to say that children don’t understand communion, therefore they shouldn’t receive. My response is always the same, none of us fully understand, but each are given a small insight into transcendence. That is the same whether you receive bread and wine above or below the communion rail!
Base image by Alan M Barker via twelvebaskets.