Ray Sutton’s Defense of Paedo-Communion
- November 24, 2023
- Steve Macias
An excerpt from Bishop Sutton, (Reformed Episcopal Church, ACNA):
“The church is to do no less than Christ when it comes to admitting people to the new covenant feast. If adults need food to grow, so do children. If adult believers require spiritual sustenance to mature, so do children. This is part of the blessing. They are not to be forbidden from the holy food of God.
The Lord’s Supper is “way-bread” for the believer’s journey in this world. J. R. R. Tolkien communicates this sacramental principle through the metaphor of way-bread in The Fellowship of the Ring. Little hobbits are given the mystical food for their journey. They are told that just a small portion of lembas is enough to feed large people. By implication it is sufficient for the little folk, the hobbits. The New Testament teaches the same. A little bit of grace goes a long way. Crumbs from the table of God are necessary for expansive growth toward life for the world to come. Adults must have this spiritual food for their journey. So must children. To forbid them is to confine the church into spiritual immaturity. Instead, covenant children should be allowed to come to Christ’s table for the way- bread of a child’s journey, and, yes, even for the demands and adult’s journey. All must eat to grow. If they do not, then they will die along the way from spiritual starvation no less than a hiker will expire in the wilderness without sustenance. Could this be why forbidding children the blessing of His food is so serious to Him? To keep the children from the Supper of the Lord is to cut off the means of grace and source of growth, indeed, the necessary way-bread of God.”
Read the Full Chapter – PDF: https://www.stevemacias.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Way-Bread-Ray-Sutton-.pdf
Buy the full book: The Case for Covenant Communion (Gregg Strawbridge)
The origin of Lembas bread from the Elves’ Great Journey is similar to the origin of the Eucharist from the Manna, which sustained the Israelites during the Exodus, i.e. another “great journey.” Additionally, “waybread” resembles ”Viaticum” (literally “traveling/road provisions”), the Communion given to the dying.
“Eat little at a time, and only at need. For these things are given to serve you when all else fails. The cakes will keep sweet for many many days, if they are unbroken and left in their leaf-wrappings, as we have brought them. One will keep a traveler on his feet for a day of long labour, even if he be one of the tall Men of Minas Tirith.“—The Fellowship of the Ring,