Monday, October 24, 2005

Communion Blessings

May your life be like good wine, tasty, sharp and clear,
and like good wine may it improve with every passing year.
I spoke these and other words of blessing at a wedding this weekend. I liked the sentiment and since the couple were true lovers of good wine, verbage was highly appropriate.
Having grown up a small town Baptist, I must admit to some sense of liberation for having actually used the word "wine" in a spiritual ceremony and not because of any need for condemnation!
A conversation I'd had the night before as the wedding party sat around a table ladened with good food and carefully selected wine, fed into this line of thinking. A buddy and I were discussing the lack of knowledge we had regarding wine and our adult-found enjoyment of it.
I told him of a blog I'd read recently recounting a communion service held in the mountains in the early morning. The weather was cool and the wine was truly wine (not sweetened grape juice as was ALWAYS the case in the church of my childhood and in most Baptist churches today) and the writer spoke of the metaphorical power of the liquid flowing down his throat and warming him. He was moved beyond words, and yet, in his brief synopsis, I understood.
Sometimes we lose much in the translation.
I'm not writing this to debate the merits of using alcohol in a worship service or not. What I am doing is marveling at how sometimes the real thing is exactly what we need to connect with.
Thinking on these things got me to a memory of my favorite speech in the movie Sideways. This buddy road trip introduces novices to the world of California wines. At one point, one of the female protagonists explains why she loves wine. She does so with almost sacred awe in her voice. I was enraptured with her description of the care and nurturing that goes into the growth of the vines, of the attention to detail in the production. When she finishes her speech, I felt the need to say, "Amen."
Many times I've treated communion like a stop in a fast food joint -- place your order, pay at the window, consume quickly and get on the road. So I guess I was ready to hear from the man who found reverence in the wine.

1 comment:

bigwhitehat said...

In my tradition, we serve communion every Sunday. I have to admit that Welch’s is cheaper than a good cabernet. That may be the real reason why we use it.