One of my favorite contemporary Christian songs of the past few years is “New Wine.” It opens with a line that sort of grabs you by the collar: “In the crushing, in the breaking, you are making new wine.” (If you don’t know it, you can hear the Gather version here; it begins about 37 minutes into the service.) What I love most about that lyric is that it takes us from struggle to outcome. First, the breaking. Then, the wine. Having spent some time in Napa and a few European wine precincts, that resonates with me. The grapes may be beautiful strung along the vine. They may look delicious. But until they’re broken, their inner beauty and taste remain hidden. Their potential is unrealized.
Part of the Lenten project is breaking, splintering surfaces and disrupting appearances to find what’s inside us. In a world where appearance is everything, this time of fasting and consecration opens us up. Quite often, no one is more surprised than we are with what we discover. There is sweetness in us that we haven’t yet developed a taste for. There are textures in our spirits that we may overlook as ordinary, when in fact they make us unlike anyone else. Finding the hidden self is part of our journey—the good and the bad and the ugly that, after crushing and breaking, yield new wine and bread for the world.
This Thursday we look more closely at this idea of being broken, along with why feasts are so central to our Christian tradition. (They may feel disconnected, but they’re not.) Plan now to be with us this Thursday at 7:30pm CDT, as we contemplate brokenness as part of our discussion of being and becoming beloved. I’m really looking forward to this time together!
Blessings, with much love,