A ripple into Westbrook

Joining the church of Westbrook has been a wonderful and exciting experience. I’m currently on staff as the Director of Student Ministry. However, I’ve been a part of this awesome church family for quite some time through various volunteer efforts. I keep thinking how fortunate I am to be able to learn, rejoice and grow with this God honoring community.

As some of you know, my journey to Westbrook (and Minnesota) began on another continent. I’m originally from Cape Town, South Africa. About 9 years ago, my wife, Rebecca, felt a calling to quit her job and move to the beautiful country of South Africa to serve God through missions. She worked at an AIDS organization, teaching children preventative care and life skills. This is where we met and fell in love (I was her supervisor). We decided to move to America to get married and raise our family. This was probably the hardest and best decision that I have ever made. Hard because I had to leave my entire family for the sake of answering the call of God upon my life. It has become one of the best decisions because I can see all of the spiritual fruit that has grown since then. These fruit include my 3 wonderful children, a loving and supportive wife, and a Westbrook church community that I can call home. I seldom realize the impact one decision can have and how powerful it can be, not only to us but also to those around us. The decision that my wife and I made 9 years ago in Africa has had a ripple effect today and I can’t wait to see what it produces in the future.

Communion

Have you ever wondered how to explain Communion to your children or to non-believers?

The answer to understanding Communion is found in the Word (I Cor 11).   The Word shows us Communion is for believers.  We find in Matt 26, Luke 22 and I Cor 11 that Jesus wants His followers to remember Him through Communion, and that they should continue to do this until Christ returns again.

The symbolism of body and blood can be confusing for children, unbelievers and new believers.  One reason this can be confusing is because abstract thinking is not developed in children until after junior high and some adults struggle understanding symbolism as well.  It is important to understand while participating in Communion the bread and drink are not actually the physical flesh and blood of Christ.  We really don’t know anything more than that, because Jesus did not tell us any more about those elements. It’s OK to say that it’s a partial mystery to us all, because it is!

The Word also tells us that we must examine our hearts before participating in Communion (found in 1 Cor. 11:28-29).   We should always come  to the Lords table with a clean heart.  Is there something that needs confessing? Something or someone that needs an apology?  Encourage self examination before participating in the Lords Supper.  If the table is not approached with a clean, clear, understanding heart the elements presented are simply a snack.

Westbrook offers a Communion Class for children and their parents/caregivers.  The next class is Sunday, October 29 at 9 am.