Thursday, November 16, 2006
No thanks, Jesus. I don't drink
I'm not sure why I haven't thought of this before, but the whole grape juice at communion thing is starting to bother me. Could be just me and where I'm at. Maybe it doesn't even matter, but I've got some questions that don't have any answers right now. 1. Why did we (my tradition) start using grape juice in the first place? I can understand if there was not wine available, so to use what you had onhand was acceptable, but why all across the board? 2. Did we think that Jesus used only grape juice? I've witness a few textual gymnastic moves over the years to prove that he did, but his first miracle, after all, was to turn water to wine, really good wine (it seems), so its hard to believe the people at the party were happy about getting a few barrels of Welch's. People celebrate over a case of Caymus, not Juicy Juice. By the way, did people get drunk off that wine that Jesus made? Just curious. 3. What does using grape juice do to the symbol of communion? I would guess to most of my evangelical friends it wouldn't even cross their minds, but to me it cheapens the ordinance. As I said in my last post, we learn to prefer sweet over bitter, but I believe its in the bitter palatte that resides our most mature flavors and richest sensory experiences. Communion is not a sweet, easy experience, so to use grape juice takes something away from my senses as I receive it. Has fear of the symbolic cup led us to soften the intimate portrait of Christ's blood being shed?