In the books of the prophets, God’s judgment upon his people, and their exile from the land and the fruits of the land, are often connected with a cessation of bread and wine.
In Lamentations, the people cry “where is bread and wine?” (Lam. 2:12). In Hosea, God warns faithless Israel that “I will take back my grain in its time, and my wine in its season” (Hosea 2:9). In Joel, the coming judgment will ensure that “the grain is destroyed, the wine dries up” (Joel 1:10). In Haggai, God calls for “a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors” (Haggai 1:11).
Likewise, the restoration from exile involves a restoration of bread and wine. God promises through Isaiah that “I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink your wine for which you have labored” (Isa 62:8). Jeremiah prophesies that in the new covenant we “shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil” (Jer. 31:12). God promises through Hosea that Israel herself “shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine” (Hosea 14:7). God pledges through Joel that “I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied . . . the threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil” (Joel 2:19, 24). Zechariah prophesies that with God’s salvation, “grain shall make the young men flourish, and new wine the young women” (Zech. 9:17).
Thus, weekly communion: because Jesus has brought creation out of the relative exile of the old creation into the new covenant and new creation. Except for seasons during which a church is under the discipline of God, her experience in God’s house week to week ought to be one of tasting his blessing and acceptance rather than tasting—by the absence of bread and wine—the visible sign of his judgment and discipline and withdrawal.