There comes a time in any Christian parent’s life where they have to step back and allow their child to start to take the reigns of their own faith journey. Three months ago I faced that situation. My church does a process called ‘Step Up’ where the child will take their first communion. I knew that this would be the year my eldest child would be asked to make that step. I had not talked to him about ‘Step Up’ as I was not sure of what his response would be. The flyers came home and I took a deep breathe and asked my son what his feelings were relating to ‘Step Up’. His genuine reply was simply that he was ready and wanted to do it.
For five weeks I went with my son to the classes and was unsure of just how much was sinking into my son. We did all the homework, which my son thought was pointless to do, and my discussions with my son on just how much he was learning during those weeks was meet with “I have already done this at school.” The final week arrived and I still had no idea if any of this was impacting my son. He had a test run of communion and then came the real test of faith. We were all asked to write a sin down on a piece of paper which was then to be burnt to show how God deals with our sin. We were asked not to look at each others piece of paper. The time came and I thought of a sin I could write down, having done that I turned to my son to see if he was ready, he growled at me and hid his piece of paper from me as he intently wrote down his sin. We were the last group to head out of that room with our sin written on that piece of paper, my son kept hiding his piece of paper and as a parent I started to wonder what sin he had committed to make him hide his piece of paper so. We placed our piece of paper in the flame of the candle and watched them burn to ash, my son placed his piece of paper to burn at the flame of the candle and could not help himself and said “Goodbye ducky.” Out loud. I know knew with out a doubt what my son’s sin was and I knew that he had done a genuine faith act when he wrote down his sin.
At the beginning of the year my son and one of his good mates had caught a duckling at the local pond, behind my back and somehow had hidden it from me when the friend stayed the night at our place. I had only found out when the boys mother told me a week later that her son had brought a duckling home to be his pet. The duckling had been taken back to the pond and is now living happily with its family, and both parents talked to the boys about taking wild animals away from their families. What I had not known was that my son had been thinking still about that duckling and in that burning of a piece of paper had handed over his sin to God. I was proud that night to see my son starting to go on his own on his spiritual journey, and was still proud weeks later when he had his first communion at our church in front of the congregation. I don’t worry know about my son understanding about communion and God forgiveness of sins, he has already shown me that he understands by his genuine faith act.
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