My seven-year-old son is smart. He’s also autistic and a very concrete thinker. Lately he’s been thinking through the Lord’s Supper. During communion when I repeat Jesus’ words, “This is my body,” he will sometimes blurt out, “It’s not a body, it’s just bread!” We’ve had several conversations about the subject. They go something like this:
Sam: Dad, tell me about the bread.
Dad: Well, it represents Jesus.
Sam: It’s not a body, it’s bread.
Dad: That’s true, but it shows us that Jesus is the bread of life, and that we are to live on him.
Sam: On top of him?
Dad: No, Son. It means that he’s the source of our life.
Sam: Is there gluten in it? (Sam is on a gluten-free diet)
Dad: Yes, there is.
Sam: What about the cup? Is it gluten-free?
Dad: Yes, it is.
Sam: But it’s not blood, it’s wine.
Dad: That’s correct.
Sam: Why do you say it’s blood?
Dad: Well, Jesus said, “This is the new covenant in my blood.” It reminds us that he shed his blood for us.
Sam: Oh. But it’s not blood. And there’s no gluten in it.
Dad: That’s right.
Sam: Now, tell me about the bread again. It’s not a body, right?
And on it goes. I think a lot about the Lord’s Supper – what it means, what it is – but I think I’ll understand it sufficiently when I can explain it to my son.