Reason #36 why I feel like I’m in exactly the church God would have me in: One of my pastors, Ed Marcelle, was invited to perform the “blessing of the bar” for St. Patrick’s Day at Brown’s Brewing Company. And of course he said yes (hence the video below). He could have recoiled in disgust at the invitation to partake in this “worldly” ritual at an establishment of “drunkards” and “sinners”. But he didn’t… and that’s really the point here.
The blessing of the bar isn’t a pagan ritual, nor is the bar (called The Taproom) unholy in some inherent way. In fact, since Terra Nova Church meets right next door it is a great spot for us Terra Nova types to gather. Some of us even meet there once a month for Theology at the Taproom. The folks at The Taproom are our neighbors and Ed Marcelle would readily call it an honor to call God’s rich blessing down upon a great gathering place with great ales. There are many principles at work here, but I think chief among them is the calling to affect our culture. This is a clear Biblical command and articulated most clearly in Mark Driscoll‘s outstanding book The Radical Reformission.
Inevitably, there’ll always be the chorus of legalists, isolationists, and curmudgeonly saints who invoke one of many false dogmas to not-so-nicely disparage this “blessing of the bar”. To these confused folk either the ale is evil, or the bar is evil, or the people in the bar are evil… blah blah blah. Whatever. I can’t help but want to suggest they read a Bible in their own language for a change of pace (yes, that was a subtle KJV dig).
Anyways, without further blabber, here is the video from the St. Patty’s Day 2007 blessing of the bar by Ed Marcelle. I wouldn’t have missed this anti-legalistic pilgrimage for anything… I was there on the second floor and you can hear me in the video yell “MARCELLE!” when he is introduced.