I’ve started working with sixth grade boys at my church.
I go to a BIG church, which can sometimes be good and sometimes bad. There are four services. I work with half of the sixth grade boys at one service… and it’s still about eight of them. (The exact number is hard to pinpoint because of sporadic attendance.)
But last night, we had a big event in which all the middle schoolers were invited. That can run upwards of 400, but last night — which seemed huge to me — was “only” about 170.
We had communion (with grape juice and yeast rolls) as part of the evening. It was set up at the back of the room before things started, which led to this.
Leader: Hey, Strange, could you guard one of the two communion tables so kids don’t just come up and drink the juice and eat the bread? Because they will do that.
Me: Yeah, sure.
Volunteer: Hey… why are there two different colors of grape juice in those cups? One is bluer than the other.
Me: …I don’t know.
Other volunteer: Hey, why are there two different colors of grape juice?
Me: I don’t know.
Other other volunteer: Hey, did you notice that there are two colors of grape juice in those cups?
Me: Yeah, I did.
Other other volunteer: Why is that?
Me: I don’t know.
Kid: Hey, are we doing communion?
Kid: Is that… is that real wine, though?
Me: Two different colors. One’s wine, one’s juice.
Me: No, of course not. It’s all juice.
Other kid: Oh, look! Are we doing communion?
Other kid: Why are there two different colors?
Kid: One’s juice… but the other is wine.
Other kid: Really?
Kid: (giving me a quick glance and sly smile) Uh-huh.
Other kid: (nervously) Which is which?
Kid: We don’t know. That’s what’s going to make tonight so much fun.
Other kid: (looking at me nervously) Is he right?
Me: Yeah, and you see how this one is the only one with foamy bubbles on it? That one’s poisoned. But we’re gonna wait for the bubbles to go down before we make everyone choose a cup.
Kid: Okay, I’ve decided. You’re awesome. I’m Nick.
Me: I’m Strange.