The laughter grows in rolling waves as our eyes sparkle with good food and good wine. Arms criss-cross one another as we reach for, and pass around, plates of food, while eyes close and satisfied groans follow the bites of pork belly and bread. The polite catch-up talk has moved on to meaningful conversations, critique, and above all, joyous eruptions of laughter. We burst into conversations with one another, ebbing in and out of different ones, as we sit around this table together. Time stops and we ask the waiter to please “bring another bottle,” not caring in the moment how much the meal will cost. All that matters for now is this moment — this sharing of food and drink and conversation as an art form. The wine makes us light-hearted and the food fills our bodies and the sharing together makes it joyous and glorious and a tiny foretaste of the Kingdom of God where there will be no more weeping and we’ll all sit down together at the Supper of the Lamb, with elbows touching and glasses raised in thanksgiving. There, the wine will flow, and we will be known — really and truly known — as we partake together.
But tonight, as we lose ourselves in wine and food, and as we are found again through the clinking of glasses and the passing of plates, our joy is magnified as we eat together. So many gifts are solitary moments of peace, but this one is made up of loud laughter and the delight of parents so unused to an uninterrupted sentence. The simple joys of bread and wine that sustain us in our homes daily, here constitute our feast. A feast where the food is created as an act of love, where time moves on effortlessly and we are spellbound. It’s a kind of magic that happens as we eat and drink together, as we listen well, as our hands touch as we pass plates along. We are present to one another, for one another, and blessedly taken out of ourselves.
And if we have a moment to reflect as we get up on slightly wobbly legs to go to the bathroom, we’ll feel grateful for this night as a tangible reminder that we’re not alone, and that there is a coming feast that will make all things right. Amidst the pork belly and plates and flow of wine, I’m reminded that faith isn’t an abstract list of principles; instead I have real things to touch and feel that remind me of the goodness of community, of being vulnerable and of showing up, and that point to a feast much more grand and with much better wine. And on that day, I think there will be such joy that it’s uncontainable that it spills over into drink and laughter and stories of our brokenness made right. That somehow our brokenness will be more beautiful because of the redemption applied. We’ll finally be set free to blessed self-forgetfulness, where we can enjoy because our eyes are finally and perfectly set free from ourselves; so we can finally simply enjoy one another and the Lamb. The food will come, the wine will enliven our eyes, and we will turn them on the Lamb in pure gratitude and delight; for it is from there all loveliness emanates, and it overflows as we feast on the bread and the cup.
This is the fourteenth post for the Write 31 days challenge, where I’ll be writing every day through the month of October. I’m excited to see what comes of this daily practice. I’d love for you to comment, pin the above image, share posts and subscribe to receive posts to the right in the sidebar as we work through these things together. Posts in the series are all linked to from the first post.