Our walk to church today was in the rain. The church that I wanted to attend was a 35-minute walk. Rob and I both have colds so we were a little anxious but suited up in rain gear.
Halfway there, we heard beautiful church music and a crowd of people bustling into a church. We regrouped and decided to attend this Protestant Church called Eglise Reformee.
Today they were having a celebration for five teens who were taking their first Communion.
I feel that this is late in their spiritual development. When my children were very little, I asked our pastor, Rev. Ed Johnson, when should children take communion.
His response made sense to me and was based on scripture so we followed his advice.
“As soon as your child understands what Jesus did for them, that is when it has meaning.”
He further explained that if you repeatedly prevent a child from taking communion, the child will get the mistaken idea that Jesus doesn’t care about them. This can backfire and the child’s relationship with Jesus Christ is strained.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
The pastor of Eglise Reformee was a lady who wore a long black robe with a white tie. The congregation was older and the pews were mostly filled. The church did not have any way for me to determine from what scripture they were reading. I could really relate to this discussion in Acts 8 between Philip and an Ethiopian.
“Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?”
The band was quite good. It was an eclectic group of musicians. There were three guitars, two oboes, mandolin, flute, bongos, piano, trumpet, and violin.
The first song was This Little Light of Mine. How fun to sing it in French!
We also sang a new song in French, Zulu, and English. Apparently, English and Zulu are in the same category. When it came to English, Rob and I really belted it out.
The teens were very involved in the service. From leading us in songs with actions (jump for joy, marching, etc.) They also took up the offering … with a long handled stick with a red velvet bag on the end.
The big moment had arrived. The teens gave statements of faith, each teen had a sponsor that spoke about them, and parents came up and formed a circle for a blessing and communion. Then they were introduced to the church family by walking up the central aisle and returning by the side aisles.
It was now time for the rest of us to have communion. We stood up and the music was lively with clapping. One of the new communion girls informed us that those standing were passing the cup of wine and if you were sitting, you would be given individual cups of grape juice. Hmmm…
There was a big celebration afterwards with snacks and champagne and hard apple cider.
Pentecost Sunday and Pentecost Monday are holidays in France. Pentecost is when the Holy Spirit came to earth in order to help us. The Holy Spirit came soon after Jesus had ascended to heaven. Pentecost is often called the birth of the Church.
Happy Birthday to the bride of Christ – the Church!