Tell It To the Children

"And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say, 'What mean ye by this service?' That ye shall say, 'It is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.' And the people bowed and worshipped" (Exodus 12:26-27).

It should be an encouragement to us all, and especially to those who have families, to know that God thinks of the children and desires that they should hear of Him and His saving grace and power. Whether in the old dispensation of the passover or in this in which the Lord's Supper has superseded the passover, it is the same, the children of His people have an importance in His thoughts that is often overlooked.

So much would depend upon the way in which the Israelites looked forward to the passover; if they were eager for it, and celebrated it with reverence and fervour the children would most surely be interested and ask. Why? If it were treated with indifference, or as an irksome ordinance they would not. But when the interest was aroused, what an enthralling story the parents would have to tell of God's care for them, and how He delivered them from slavery and made them a free people. Their homes on those occasions would have a joyous, evangelical ring about them, and songs of praise to their Redeemer-God would break forth, in which the children's voices would join. The interest of the children would revive and stimulate the interest of the parents and re-awaken their gratitude to God.

And since Israel's deliverance from Egypt was but a shadow of the greater deliverance that God has wrought for us, and the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of the way that He has done it, ought not this "telling to the children" to be a matter of even greater importance to us? One thing is sure, that which vitally affects the parents will make an impression upon the children. If the children see that the Lord's Supper is highly prized and prepared for by the parents they will want to know the meaning of it, and what a story it is the parents have to tell them. "This is My body which is given for you. . . My blood which is shed for you." "This do in remembrance of Me." The whole story of the great love of our Lord and Saviour lies in those words, and the story must be told from generation to generation, and how it warms the hearts of parents to see the eager way in which the children listen to it. Thus the spirit of gratitude and worship which must go with the Supper is carried from the assembly to the home, and the children will realise in the gladness of it how good a thing it is to be redeemed by the Lord, and that the Lord who redeemed the parents does not overlook them.

If on the other hand this matter is treated as a formal thing, done because it is usual to do it, and other things are looked upon as of greater importance, the children will be adversely affected. The meeting will be an irksome occasion to them and they will come to dislike it thoroughly with sad results.