The Revd Margaret Legg
Has it ever struck you as rather odd that at the very centre of our Christian religion is the drinking of an intoxicant? If we participate in the sacrament of the Eucharist, we receive bread and wine – wine, the fruit of the vine.
Wine started out in ancient civilisations as the means to orgiastic feasts and bacchanalian festivals: an intoxicant that stirred communities into ecstatic behaviour. Gradually, under the discipline of ritual, prayer and theology wine was tamed to become first a solemn libation to the Olympians and then the Christian Eucharist, offering a brief encounter with the sacred which has reconciliation as its goal. Wine: a drink just strong enough to cause you to smile at the world and the world to smile at you.