“I’ll get the bread and juice,” our three year old scurries to the fridge and heaves the 2L bottle of grape juice out of the fridge, and I hurry to grab the bread from the basket on the top shelf before she starts scaling those.
It all started when I decided to write for 31 Days about the topic of the Holy Communion. I wasn’t sure I would even get 7 days in, but the more I dug, the more I discovered, and we quickly realised that we wanted to share communion as a family regularly. As we did so, we noticed that the spiritual atmosphere in our home was changing as we regularly poured out the juice and broke the bread together. It drew us together as we thanked Jesus for His sacrifice and it instantly broke distraction and was a big weapon against spiritual warfare. Now we regularly shared communion at breakfast time, the one meal where we are all together. For you that may be different.
Sharing communion as a family around the meal table is a precious tradition to start in your home. I know, someone is going to say, but I don’t want communion to just become a tradition or religious routine. No you don’t, you want to truly understand why you are doing it and teach your children why, but taking communion is a way of establishing the Lord’s authority over your home. It’s providing a spiritual time where you sit down as a family and share in something we’ve been commanded to do, just like prayer and Bible reading. Sometimes traditions change our lives, like Ann Voskamp’s tradition to list her thankyous. That hasn’t just changed her life, but many others.
You’re providing your children with a powerful weapon to use against the enemy in their lives as you are teaching them why you’re taking communion and you’re drawing a bloodline around them of protection.
During prayer this afternoon I was asking God for a revelation about a particular topic. He showed me a picture of how often we want a breakthrough or revelation all at once, like an immediate pop up house, when in reality, for most of us, if we’ve ever built a house, it goes up brick by brick or board and nail by board and nail. Communion as a family tradition and habit is hammering in those nails of revelation. The house is building, it may not pop up immediately but you are storing away treasure.
My father-in-law, Geoff Ainsworth has been leading his family in this tradition for many years, and has also been a pastor, with his thoughts on the topic. (He also shared on the Hebrew roots of the Eucharist blessing, and why we call it the Holy Eucharist)
It’s good to see that the early believers mentioned in Acts 2 going from house to house were not just the leaders but everyone who were a part the number of these early followers of Jesus. Daily their prayers of thanksgiving and blessing and times of fellowship were no longer coming from traditions or religious beliefs but from their living, vibrant relationship with Jesus, and their desire to share His life, love and fellowship with their brothers and sisters in the Lord. When they broke the bread they were doing what Jesus asked. They were doing this in remembrance of Him.
This now opens an interesting thought. Some people and families I have met feel strongly that only their pastor or priest can lead them in what we have called, communion. Well may I suggest that breaking bread and sharing in a cup of juice or wine with your wife and family ‘in remembrance of what Jesus has done for us’ is a huge blessing of life to your home. Yes it is good when we share in this at church together. But to share in thus way in our own home with our own loved ones and family … it is not only good, but it is life giving… and our home takes on the new dimension of a family altar.
It can feel strange at first as we as parents take the lead in this. Break that fear for the blessing… for the refreshing and deep presence of Jesus in our homes. Let each family member share and lead in this as we turn again the hearts of the fathers to their children, the hearts of the children to their fathers and parents and all of our hearts to our God. (Malachi 4:6)