Here’s why, according to Frederick Buechner, wine makes a much better symbol of the blood of Christ than grape juice:
Unfermented grape juice is a bland and pleasant drink, especially on a warm afternoon mixed half-and-half with ginger ale. It is a ghastly symbol of the life blood of Jesus Christ, especially when served in individual antiseptic, thimble-sized glasses.
Wine is booze, which means it is dangerous and drunk-making. It makes the timid brave and the reserved amorous. It loosens the tongue and breaks the ice, especially when served in a loving cup. It kills germs. As symbols go, it is a rather splendid one.
— Frederick Buechner
Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC
(ht Michael Hyatt)
Nicely said. I feel the tug of our Christian cultural norms towards the unobtrusive and non-threatening. And yet, the Gospel is anything but.
I always enjoy that kind of descriptive language.
Interestingly enough, I read this today. http://bit.ly/zyOqv
stuart hepler says
so why are we not using wine then? i have been thinking about this for some time. we are not children. we need to forsake the fear and legalism of the past and embrace the boldness of a new theology. i will personally supply the wine for c.c. after all, everyone has a position in the body.
Ben Sternke says
A great question, Stuart. Probably just inherited practices that we haven’t thought about until now. You know the other thing I like better about wine is that you taste it for awhile after taking communion… it lingers after the fact. Also that it is a bit of an acquired taste, not immediately sweet to the tongue… sounds like Jesus to me.
Maybe this is one of those “it seems good to us and the Holy Spirit” kind of things? Let’s bring it up at the next core team gathering.