As it happens, we use cream sherry --- consecrated of course --- in the communion cup. Sherry has a longer shelf life than other wine varieites, which tend to go flat and start tasting funny when held over for a second, even third or more, Sunday in a small and necessarily prudent parish. Even when stashed in the fridge.
But champagne duly consecrated was offered in one of the cups during the Eucharist that concluded last night's Easter vigil. so I partook --- just to experience it. I've had champagne with celebratory lunches after Easter vigils, but never in the cup during. Leave it to Lutherans ....
It's been a busy experiential Holy Week, with a near tipping point late yesterday afternoon when after putting the church back together in the aftermath of Good Friday and between finishing up Sunday bulletins and doing a little cooking for this morning's brunch, it occured to me that the best pair of jeans was in the dryer --- and had been there for roughly three days. So much for carefully pressed.
I read several days ago Andrew Sullivan's Newsweek cover story --- "Forget the Church: Follow Jesus." And some of the online commentary that followed: "Andrew Sullivan is NOT a theologian, nor was Thomas Jefferson (who figured largely in Sullivan's piece)." Ouch --- I'll bet that hurt.
Diana Butler Bass, a liberal Christian thinker, followed up on Sullivan's proposal by suggesting that religion could be reduced to the three "Bs" --- Believing, Behaving and Belonging. All very well and good, but she left out the "E" --- Experiencing.
The best way to celebrate Easter from my point of view at least involves the latter "E." Too much thought --- figuring out what you do or don't believe, how you should behave and whether or not you belong --- just confuses the issue. That may be one of the reasons why more and more folks stay home. So get out there and experience Easter if you can --- find God, if you can, in the music and the liturgy and the flowers. Don't sweat the small stuff --- today at least.