Monday, January 10, 2011

From Jhen: On Just a Little Taste

Just A Little Taste
The following Sunday after Jhen, my five-year-old little lady was baptized, she taught me another big lesson.  It happened at my parent’s church, where the Lord’s Supper was being served, and she would be allowed to partake for the first time.  She had seen the covered table and knew what was about to take place.  She sat beside her little sister on the pew in front of me and was quite subdued and well-behaved throughout the message.
When the time came for the bread to be served, she sat up tall, and I remembered my first Lord’s Supper.  I had picked out the piece of cracker I could find in the two seconds the plate was in front of me, then passed the plate on, over my younger sister who looked longingly at the plate, wanting to but knowing she couldn’t take a piece.  I remembered squaring my shoulders in a self-important way, but I kept my head bowed because that’s what the grown-ups were doing.
When my younger daughter, her face full of disappointment, scooted as close to her sister as she could, I was sure the older one was doing the same thing I did many years before, because that’s just the way little kids are.  When they began to whisper to each other, I tapped them both on the shoulders and shook my head disapprovingly, and they sat still.
When the instruction came to “Take, eat,” I watched as my first-born put the wafer in her mouth, and then handed a tiny crumb to her little sister, who then proceeded to chew like everyone else, her eyes filled with gratitude to her sister.
“Oh, no,” I groaned inwardly -- people had seen the whole thing!  Hadn’t I explained many times before that not everyone that’s there got to share  in the Lord’s Supper, and hadn’t I explained why?  Didn’t they know the rules?  It was bad enough that some people hadn’t approved of Jhen’s “early” baptism, and this just seemed to prove their point.  Embarrassed, I leaned forward to reprimand my daughters but something held my words back. 
Then I heard my little lady gently and lovingly explain to her little sister – not in a self-righteous or superior way, as I would have done at her age, but as tenderly as she could, “Jax, (a nickname reserved only for when they are best buddies) that was just a little taste.  You can’t have the whole thing until you ask Jesus into your heart and let people know it.”
“Yes, Jhenny,” Jax nodded softly.
I sat back and thought about what had just transpired.  Sometimes people are like Jax, and get a little taste of what Jesus has to offer, knowing they can never have the “whole thing” until they make a commitment .  Even life here on earth is but “a little taste”  and we can’t have “the whole thing” – Eternal Life – without Jesus.
But more than that, my little lady taught me that sometimes we are so caught up in rules and regulations that we lose sight of our purpose.  Yes, my little ladies broke a rule, but they taught me a great lesson in doing so.  The Lord’s Supper represents what Jesus did for us, and the bread and wine are the symbol of Jesus Christ.  So, when Jhen broke the rules and shared her wafer, she symbolically shared Jesus with her sister in the most innocent, unselfish way.  Jax didn’t take the wafer from the plate, she got a taste of it when her sister shared it with her.  Jhen willingly offered part of her most prized possession at that moment – her first Lord’s Supper wafer – to her sister.
When the time came to serve the cup, the usher paused before offering the tray to my little lady, and looked at me inquiringly.  I nodded slightly, giving my approval.  Jhen took her cup, held it with her head bowed, and drank it when everyone else did, but she left a tiny drop for her little sister, who put the cup to her lips to get a little taste.
I am forever thankful that God allowed my little ladies to teach me a lesson, and in doing so I was able to witness the first time my little lady shared Jesus, and it was  with her little sister.