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I want to eat the bread, too

by Missy Morgan on November 04, 2022

Our family sits in the front pew at our church. And that’s pretty hilarious for me because it’s the last place my husband would ever want to sit. It’s also not my first choice based on the neck strain alone. But one Sunday when my son Mikel was four, he walked right up to the front pew and asked if we could park it there for the service. I could see my husband's shoulders sag. Big exhale. That was two years ago and we’re still front-row strong. 

I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I’ve grown to love it. My kids see things at church from a totally different perspective than we do. They are discovering everything anew, and I get to be a part of that with them. From the front, they can see people up close. They watch the man pushing buttons and pedals on the organ. He can recognize the liturgist, and see the facial expressions of our pastor as he presents the Communion table. We’re front and center to everything.

I used to wonder when it would be time for our kids to take Communion. After all, we’re passing a basketful of kid-sized bread bites and cute little cups of grape juice right in front of their faces. I would honestly cringe sometimes knowing that they would want to take some (naturally), but also knowing I would have to say no…and be willing to deal with a potential meltdown. In the front row. Would they start to dislike church because they couldn’t be a part of that? Would they feel left out? How do you explain to a young child that this one church tradition is not for them?

Alas, the day arrived. Mikel at the age of five said quite sweetly to me one Sunday, “Mommy, I want to eat the bread.” I had no idea what to say, but I did remember that one of our associate pastors had young kids. And when one was three, he went through the same thing. He felt his child had a faith that was appropriate and real for his age, and so his child started taking Communion.

I work in marketing. My husband works in healthcare. We are not pastors! So this felt like a conundrum to me. But what happened next was not a conundrum to anyone else. I mentioned to the head pastor, who stands at the back of the church to say good-bye to people after the service, that Mikel had something he wanted to say . That pastor encouraged us that this is a wonderful thing at this age, and said he would follow up. We received some materials in the mail to read to Mikel, which included some questions to ask. After several weeks, and consistent interest from Mikel, we scheduled a meeting with an associate pastor and an elder in our community. They sat down and asked him questions about Jesus, his faith and what Communion means to him. That next Sunday, our boy was taking Communion with us at God’s table in that front pew. Fast forward a few years later, and our daughter Lizzy is doing the same. 

One of the most precious gifts through our parenting at this church is that we know from experience that we are not alone. This church takes vows during a child’s baptism, and they take it seriously. We have a church body that is alongside all of us, bringing us constantly back to the love of Jesus. And Jesus said to let the little children come to Him. Amen to that!

Missy & David Morgan

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