Whitefield Academy Blog
A Third Grade Communion Story
No matter your denomination or how you take communion, as Christians we can all agree that deciding to take communion is a big deal. It’s been the most recent for us in the series of “Big Decisions You Have to Make as a Parent.”
Our daughter, Lila, is in third grade. She’s been interested in taking communion for the last few years, but since the interest seemed to be mainly in having a snack at the end of church, we had her wait. A lot of maturity has come with being in third grade, however, so when our pastor recently lead a communicants class for kids who were interested, we decided that she should go ahead and go.
The class went great. Lila learned all about communion, and after talking to her and discussing her faith, we felt like she was ready. At our church, much like when you become a member, those who are ready to take communion meet with the elders to answer a few questions. This was the part I was worried about. My little 8 year old sitting in a room with a bunch of old guys (no offense gentlemen) answering questions and defending her faith. I was imagining tears, running out of the room, or at least clamming up!
She had her meeting scheduled, and when it was time, we brought her over to meet with the elders. They surprised me by asking if my husband, Johnny, and I wanted to come in and sit with her. Relieved and thinking “Wonderful! She will need us!”, I asked Lila knowingly, “Do you want us to come sit with you?”
“Nope. I’ll be fine”
Lila proceeded to walk in confidently and sit her tiny little self down in a chair on one side of the table while the four men sat on the other. They shut the door, and Johnny and I just stared at the wall, sipping coffee.
A few minutes later, our friend Steve opened the door and asked us to come in. Almost all the men had tears in their eyes and told us they were so happy to have Lila take communion with the rest of the congregation.
I asked Lila later what they had asked her.
“They asked who Jesus was.”
“And what did you say?”
“I said Jesus is God’s son who came down from Heaven when he didn’t have to and lived a perfect life that I can’t live. He was crucified on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven so that I can go to Heaven too.”
I’d say that about sums it up. Woven in what she answered you hear bits of the Apostle’s Creed and you’ll see glimpses of the Sermon on the Mount. In her swagger into the room and her fearless answering of questions you get echoes of numerous book talks and class reports. In her ability to converse with adults you sense the foundation of being taught to look people in the eye and actively listen.
All of this has been Whitefield. The scripture memory, the creed and prayer memory, the emphasis on public speaking, the normalization of speaking to adults, and the excitement around our Christian faith.
As a parent, so much falls through the cracks. I spend forever making sure my kids can pour their own milk and then realize we haven’t been reading the Bible as a family. Or I focus on getting out the door and then realize we never prayed for the day. We originally came to a Christian school because we wanted a safety net to help catch those spiritual things that fall through the cracks. Slowly, though, I have realized that the teachers at Whitefield are doing more than catching my mistakes, they are building my daughters up in all areas of their lives. These teachers are tirelessly shaping and molding each child in math, science, reading, spelling, Scripture, faith, relationships, interactions, athletics, art, music, morality, and virtue.
A classical Christian education is so much more than just academics. It’s a training of the whole person. We are so grateful for it.