One of the doctrinal conclusions which comes from a covenant theology, is that all who’ve been united with Christ in baptism should partake of Christ here in His Supper. All in Christ, should eat of Christ. Which explains why baptized children aren’t kept from the Lord’s table. But affirming a doctrine isn’t enough. We must put it into practice circumspectly.
This is why we’ve sought to cultivate a culture within our congregation where baptized children are welcome to begin partaking of the Supper as soon as they are able. When a baptized infant starts giving mom & dad a quizzical look which says, “What gives?” as the basket of bread goes past them each week, what we call “a teachable moment” has arrived. By welcoming or withholding, the child is being taught. They’re either being taught that they’re “in” or “out.”
Which is why parents should, as soon as their infant is no longer sleeping through the sermon, alert the elders that the child is capable of partaking along with all the other saints. Let me quickly add an important point of doctrine which parents should keep in mind when this juncture comes. Parents shouldn’t think of themselves as the arbiters of when a child is “ready.” Fathers & mothers aren’t notifying the elders of a decision which the parents made. Rather, they’re ensuring the elders’ don’t overlook a covenant member.
The Word lays out the duties assigned to specific governments. The elders are the “stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor. 4:11).” It isn’t the father’s duty to fence the table. That’s the duty of the elders. So parents, when you draw the attention of the elders to the fact that your baptized child is now capable of partaking, think of yourself as fellow sheep, bleating at the shepherds, to not neglect feeding the littlest lambs.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus Christ…