'Communion' is otherwise called 'the Breaking of Bread' or 'The Lord's Table'. It has also been called 'the Eucharist' (which means 'Giving Thanks').
1 Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you;." 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. NIV
At the Ark, we eat and drink the symbols of the Lord's death as part of our Sunday Worship.
Communion is an opportunity for us to remember the suffering of Jesus, and worship Him with this as our focus. We thank God that Jesus was punished instead of us, we also thank Him that Jesus was raised from the dead and always lives to speak in our defence.
Why break bread together? We break bread because Jesus told us to do this in remembrance of Him.
Luke 22:19 do this in remembrance of me." NIV
Also it was the pattern in the early church.
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. NIV
The table of blessing and healing
The bread and the grape juice are symbols, but our obedience makes them a point at which God can minister blessing to us.
1 Cor 10:16 When we bless the cup at the Lord's Table, aren't we sharing in the benefits of the blood of Christ? And when we break the loaf of bread, aren't we sharing in the benefits of the body of Christ? NLT
The benefits are that:
Isa 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. NIV
It is a place for believers We are declaring our acceptance and appreciation of the Lord's death when we partake of these emblems.
Examination Unless you can and do examine yourself you should not eat. If you have something in your heart against someone – don't eat – if they are in the room sort it out and then eat. If you can call them go out make the call and then come in and eat. If not, sort it out and eat next time.
Matt 5:23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. NIV
The Lord's Table is a blessed place of worship, but also a place to be taken very seriously as we renew the covenant together with God.
Luke 22:20 This cup is the new covenant in my blood NIV
Children For this reason we suggest that if a child is not old enough to examine themselves, their parents should not let them eat – this is a matter for parental discretion. If you are confident your child knows Jesus as Saviour and they are able to grasp simply what the table is for, they may eat. As parent it is your responsibility whether they eat or not and either way you will be given the opportunity to serve your child.