Question:

I hope you will answer this: Following the last service on Sunday we clean up the communion service plates for the fruit of the vine and the "loaf" in a small room within the building. In the past the children have been allowed to drink the grape juice remaining in the cups, and some want the unleavened bread also. One of the brethern has stated this is a problem. They stated the emblems were sacred. But did not press this point when questioned as to the scriptural location of this idea they had. Since we do not eat in the building they might have this in mind, but did not say so. I Corinthians 8:7-9 gives some guidance that we might be causing a weaker brother to stumble. But these children are 6-7 years old. So the weaker brother is either the one letting the children drink the juice or the one complaining about it. Can you help?


Answer:

There is no passage that says the emblems are sacred. I would suppose they making a link to the table of showbread in the Old Testament where only priests were allowed to eat the bread. Such a command was not given in the New Testament.

If the elements were sacred, then it would be required that the communion be closed to only Christians; yet, again I know of no passage placing that restriction on the Lord's Supper.

The Lord's Supper is a memorial of the Lord's death. Its meaning comes when Christian partake of it together. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread" (I Corinthians 10:16-17). Nothing is mentioned about what is to be done with the leftovers.

If someone had difficulty with children eating the leftovers, I would simply ask how they arrived at that conclusion from the Scriptures. If all they offer is their personal opinion, then my response would be that we don't bind the opinions of one person on another. If there is scriptural reason, even if I believe them to be mistaken, I would suggest to those clean the trays to not allow children to partake where these people were aware of it, so as to not offend them. It causes no harm if children are not allowed to eat the leftovers.

Jeff,

Thanks for the very good reasons, especially not offending some and that is doesn't hurt children not to be allowed to eat the leftovers.

What a great web site you folks have!