Thursday, July 19, 2007

Communion Meditation-Wine is Wine

In our bulletin, we say that the wine is wine. That is a true statement. The wine is wine. It almost sounds absurd to say that, the wine is wine, as if we were cracking a joke or something. But nobody in the Christian church seems to think the reverse is funny, the wine is grape juice. Everybody keeps a straight face when that is said. Even though it is a joke. And the kid in the front row who always asks questions just keeps his mouth shut. And the professor rambles ever onward. “You see, this wine was never fermented, so it has a fit use for adults and children. Grape juice, you see, versatile, sweet, able to be swallowed by an adult, loved by children everywhere.”

But in our bulletin it says that the wine is wine. I hear the protests. “But we don’t like wine. It’s too strong. We are not used to it. It makes me gag. It’s a stumbling block. The children are not of age.”

Oh? Who says? Who says that the children cannot partake? Who has made a Christian’s drink and turned it into a drink for kiddees? And who says that children ought not to have wine? Worried schoolmarms? Preachers in skirts? Skirts as preachers? Teetotalers? Prohibitionists? Modern evangelicals? The Bible? Jesus? Who says? By what authority? And who should YOU listen to?

Is it any wonder that the church is so full of babies when we will only give them baby drink? And worse, we won’t even give it to them until they are old enough to not like it so much anymore. But I think that even babies, Christian ones, can hold their wine better than these.

Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that the church will grow up into maturity if we only start serving wine at communion. But it IS partly true. We need to do what Jesus said to do, everywhere. Even if we do not like it very much. Even if it is strong drink for us. Even if we need to develop a palate worthy of tasting Jesus. Even if the world hates what we do.

We may as well start here.

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