Around 300 of us gathered at Moss Denver on November 30 to celebrate our fourth annual Bread & Wine event.
Why do we return to this celebration year after year?
Our tagline for Bread & Wine is as follows: An evening to taste and see the glory of God through his good creation. Let’s unpack this a bit.
Think back to the last meal Jesus shared with his group of disciples before his crucifixion. There in the upper room, God incarnate grabbed two of the most basic elements of mealtime – bread and wine. And with a couple sentences he breathed new meaning into them: “Take and eat; this is my body… Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Jesus selected common elements to represent the drastically uncommon – God’s reconciliation of His people to Himself through the labor of His Son.
But wait. Could there be another layer of import woven into Jesus’ actions that night?
It’s fascinating that Jesus chose elements that required human activity and involvement in order to create. Truth be told, he could have used barley instead of bread, grapes instead of a Grenache. His selected symbols for his sacrifice on the cross could have been items that exist within untouched creation, apart from the work of people.
But they weren’t. He chose bread and wine – elements that necessarily require the work of human minds and hands – to represent his reconciling work, work that actually created the family of God.
This demonstrates the value God places upon the activity to which he has called us. Certainly, the sovereign Lord of the cosmos is Himself working salvation for his namesake through the narrative of human history. And yet, he knits our individual and localized stories into this grand narrative, ushering us to play our part in restoring all things through our daily actions.
In short, God’s redemptive and unifying grace is communicated and established through human interaction with one another and the created order. And it is in these places that we see the very glory of God. But only if we’re looking for it.
That’s why we host Bread & Wine each year. We need regular reminders to experience our dynamic world as one that is “charged with the grandeur of God.” These reminders need be more than verbal; oftentimes we need embodied practices to teach our souls what our intellect may already grasp.
This particular evening we highlighted the role and reality of hospitality in the renewed Christian family. You see, this “bread” was broken for us, and this “wine” was poured out for our sins, that we may be brought near to our Father. Like the prodigal son from Luke 15, we have run away from the Author of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness in order to glut ourselves on cheap substitutes. But through the meal of Jesus’ body and blood, we are recreated into the family of God.
Now, compelled by this infinite hospitality shown to us, may we step into our daily lives portraying this same gracious welcome, making use of the material things at our disposal to sacrificially love those around us.
What a beautiful, merciful, and creative God we serve!
Photos of the event taken by Melanie Fenwick.
Photos from the event taken by Leah Mills.
On November 15th, 2013, we gathered at Park Church for our very first Bread & Wine event (as part of ParkRenew, see below for more info). Bread & Wine was an evening celebrating Christ’s incarnation through bread, wine, art, & song. A month before the event, we invited artists to create artwork in response to the first few chapters of John and its implications (particularly the incarnation of Christ). We asked one of our photographers to capture images of 7 different people from Park Church in their workplaces who do very different jobs: a financial adviser, a barista, a hair stylist, a stay-at-home mom, a barista, a carpenter, and a nurse.
We hung the artwork created and photos taken, and then invited the church to join us for a meal and art show of the pieces created during that month. We provided freshly baked baguettes hand-crafted by a baker from our church and asked everyone to bring their favorite bottle of wine to share. We sang songs of praise and thanks to our generous and lavish God “from whom all blessings flow”. Our goal for the evening was to eat good bread, drink good wine, have good conversation, and ultimately to enjoy these to the praise of our God! We wanted to remind our people that because God is Lord, how we eat and drink and open our homes and work are affected. All things are to be done to the glory of God!
About ParkRenew: ParkRenew exists to advance the work of cultural transformation and renewal under the Lordship of Jesus, through the Gospel of Jesus. Our hopes are to see the confessional work of the church pushed into the corners of our world and to see it renew all parts of our city. The Gospel changes the way we think about everything, including business & economics, the arts, missions, sexuality, friendship, the realities of marriage, and living in a complex culture like the modern city.
Below are some photos of the event taken by Caitlin Fairly (http://caitlinfairlyphoto.com/).