We recently changed where we sit in church. If I had known how much fun it would be to sit behind Jacob, I would have moved years ago.
Jacob is 110% boy. His serious 5-year-old face belies his enthusiasm, but the twinkle in his eye reveals all. He has the kind of energy that people try to bottle and sell under brand names like Monster and 5 Hour Energy, except his is all-natural and can’t be bottled. While he is constantly moving, he is also constantly listening.
Yesterday, he was doing a speedy side-slide shuffle along his little section of the pew while the scripture, Micah 7:18-20, was being read.
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain his anger for ever,
because he delights in steadfast love.
He will again have compassion on us;
he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
You will show faithfulness to Jacob [emphasis mine]
and steadfast love to Abraham,
as you have sworn to our fathers
from the days of old.
When the words “to Jacob” were read, little Jacob stopped dead in his tracks.
“To Jacob,” he said out loud. “Why me?”
I laughed. Why me indeed? Shouldn’t that be the response every one of us gives to a passage about God’s forgiveness and faithfulness?
Later, Jacob was lying on the pew, zooming two pencils over his head like little airplanes, as the pastor was finishing the Great Thanksgiving and issuing the invitation to receive communion. Upon hearing the words, “Come, the table is ready,” Jacob leaped to his feet, clapped his hands, and said, “Wait for me!”
The church we attend welcomes children to partake in communion. Communion can, at times, be a bit chaotic. There may be some who may look down on this practice, but I have found it refreshing. I fully understand Jacob’s joy at going forward to receive the bread and the wine.
In the words of The Great Thanksgiving,
Gracious God, pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon these Your gifts of bread and wine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ
that we may be for the world
the body of Christ, redeemed by His blood.
By your Spirit draw us together in one body
and join us to Christ the Lord,
that we may remain His glad and faithful people
until we feast with Him in glory.
I receive the bread and the wine with sobriety, and also with great joy. Communion is not just a time to reflect back on Christ’s sacrifice, but it’s a time to look forward to a day when we will feast at a great banquet with Him. I love that.
If you think church is boring (not that it is for me), look for a Jacob to sit behind. He can teach you a lot.