(This past weekend Fort Wayne had their annual meeting. Britt normally sits with Gary on the men's side, but since he wasn't here, Britt sat with me during Communion and foot washing. Not sure if it's the norm or just his age, but he had a MILLION questions, none of which he could wait until after Church to ask.)
Britt: What are they doing with all those little red cups.
Momma: We are going to use them for communion. Do you remember what communion means?
Britt: No, is that red juice?
Momma: Communion is when we stop to think about what Christ saved us from. The bread and the wine are to help us remember.
Britt: Are those smushed rolls?
Momma: No, it's unleaven bread. Do you know what kind of bread that is?
Britt: It means flat bread?
Momma: It means it has no leaven, no bad stuff in it. It's pure like Jesus.
Britt: It has no bad stuff only good stuff, like God.
Momma: No bad stuff, no sin.
(At this point they put the white sheet/table cloth/thing over the table, and after a few more minutes they start singing.)
Britt: Why do they have that white thing up there?
Momma: It doesn't mean anything in particular, it's just tradition to have the table covered.
Britt: But why do they do it then?
Momma: Somebody probably started doing it a long time ago. Use to they didn't have air conditioning, and it would be hot and they would have the windows open, and maybe the sheet was to keep the flies away from the table.
Britt: Are the flies going to get it?
Momma: No, there aren't any flies in here today.
(A few more minutes and Bro. Michael starts telling about the significance of the last supper and the meaning behind the bread and the wine. Britt ask several more questions, I told him to listen to Bro. Michael that he was telling what it all meant. He wanted me to tell him, so I rehashed most of what I had already told him before Communion started. Then he finishes talking, and pulls the sheet back and starts to tear apart the bread.)
Britt (in a voice that is embarrassingly loud for Communion): Why is he tearing up the food? He took the sheet off, the flies are going to eat it all now.
Momma (mortified and trying to shush the boy): There are no flies in here! He's breaking the bread, like Jesus's body was broken for us.
Britt: He got his legs broke for us?
Momma (frantically trying to figure out how to explain to a four year old, how His body was broken, but not like he is thinking): No, he didn't have any broken bones, but He died for us.
Britt (now alarmed, and getting loud again): I don't want Him to die.
Momma: He's alive now, like that song you like to sing "The Lord Liveth".
(Britt sits there a little longer, I'm relieved that I don't have to try to explain how He was dead and now He isn't in the middle of communion. I'm hoping that Britt can save any further questions till after Church, though I guess a four year old doesn't have that much of a memory. Bro. John gets up and then speaks on the blood of Christ.)
Britt (leans over and "whispers" like he's letting me in on a special secret, that not everyone else knows): You know, spiders drink blood.
(After a few more minutes, the wine gets around to us.)
Britt: Is that red juice?
Momma: It's kinda like juice, it's made from grapes.
Britt: Is it good?
Momma: I don't think you would like it much.
Britt: It's blood.
Momma: No, it's just wine, but it's to help us remember that He shed His blood for us.
Britt: I don't want Him to bleed and die.
Momma (feeling like I'm somehow slaughtering and completely losing the beauty of the doctrine we believe answers): Remember He's not dead anymore.
(Next, Bro. Michael says a few words about footwashing, before we start. Sis. Leah takes Rebecca from me, so that Sis. Leta and I can wash feet. Ruth who has been asleep until this point on the bench wakes up, and she and Britt feel that it is imperative that they follow me up to the front bench to see what we are doing.)
Britt: What's she doing to you?
Momma: She's washing my feet.
Britt: Why they aren't dirty?
Momma: It's one way to show that we love each other. And because Jesus said it was a good thing to do.
Britt: She's not washing them right. She doesn't have any soap.
Momma: We don't need any soap.
(At this point we swap, and I wash Sis. Leta's feet. Then she takes Rebecca and I get ready to wash Sis. Leah's feet so that we don't leave anyone out. I'm wrapping the towel around me.)
Britt: What's that thing?
Momma: A towel.
Britt: Why are you tying it on your dress?
Momma: So that it's easy to get to.
Britt: Does it keep your dress from getting wet?
Britt: Then why did you get water on it there? (After I don't answer he continues.) Can you wash my feet?
Momma: No. One day if you decide to join the Church you can wash feet and be a part of communion.
Britt: What if I just wash Ruth's feet.
Ruth: Yeah, "Bit" wash me feet.
Momma: No, you can just watch.
Britt: It makes God happy when we wash feet right?
Momma: Yes, and I'm sure one day you will be able to do that too, but not right now.
Britt: I'm still too little?
(By this point, everyone is hugging, getting shoes back on, singing a song.)
Britt: I can give everyone hugs and shake hands though right, Momma? I'm not to little for that. I can tell everyone I love you too.
Momma: Yes, you can.
Britt: I like this hard Church.
(Britt refers to churches by their benches, not their names. Little Union is "our red church" because it has red benches. Grumps and Ahna attend "the brown church" because Mt. Olive has brown benches. Antioch at Vero Beach, is "that funny green church." Bethel Church where the Gulf Coast Meeting was at, is "the orange church." Fort Wayne Church is "the hard church" because they have no padding on their benches.)