As I ran around the river, I stumbled across what looked like a dining table, set atop a platform, with racing car style chairs being hoisted into the sky. ‘What is it?’ I mused. ‘Dinner in the sky? How interesting. How strange. Why. Would. You?’
I found this whole concept really fascinating. Not being a huge fan of heights, I couldn’t possibly understand why someone would want to pay a hefty amount of money just to be served some food and take in the view of Perth city (we love Perth, but it’s not like looking across the Himalayas, right?). So, I investigated.
It turns out ‘Dinner in the Sky’ is not a new experience, but relatively new to Perth. Apparently, for between $200 and $500 you can sit in one of these seats, be elevated sixty metres above the ground, and there experience a tantalising feast.
Mr Laxton, Australia’s Dinner in the Sky organiser, says that this sky high adventure is not about reaching dizzying heights, but is more about finding the ‘sweet spot’ where your perception of your surroundings change.
“When you’re suspended, there’s a point where your perception changes and suddenly the world seems more colourful, more 3-D, more real,” Mr Laxton said.
Aaaaah, so people want to have this experience because their perceptions change, because the world is more colourful and real. Who doesn’t want that on occasion? Who hasn’t looked at their surroundings and wondered ‘Is this the reality of my life?’
People all around us are regularly seeking a perception change – alcohol, drugs, adrenaline inducing sports; dinner in the sky is another experience to help us see something outside of ourselves.
Perception altering experiences? I can appreciate the appeal of that.
Another new Perth dining experience is the Diner en Blanc. Begun in Paris, in 1988, Francois Pasquier returned from a trip abroad and planned a gathering for friends. As his guest numbers grew, he decided to hold the event in a park with everyone dressed in white, so they could recognise one another.
Today, spanning six continents, guests attend this invite-only event by flash-gathering in a public space and setting up ‘temporary, chic dining.’ As is tradition, people wear white, to identify themselves as special guests.
This experience intrigues and delights me more than eating up high, because not only are your feet set on the ground, but there is something ethereal and majestic about many people dressed in white gathered together against a stunning backdrop.
Identifying one‘s self with a particular crowd to enjoy something as charming as Diner en Blanc feeds into our human desire to escape the groundhog and mundane. To be a part of something unique and ‘unreal’. Our perceptions are changed.
Today, Maundy Thursday, millions of Christians around the world will remember another meal – the Last Supper. Last because it was the last meal shared by Jesus, with His friends, before He went to His death on the cross. Inaugural though, in that it ignited a new kind of meal – the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion.
Holy Communion is so called because in it, those who are called Friends of Jesus; those who believe He is the Bread of Life as He proclaimed, commune with Him.
Jesus said, ‘Take and eat of My Body, which is broken for you. Take and drink of My Blood which is shed for the new and everlasting covenant. Do this, in memory of Me.’
Of course, we don’t really eat flesh and drink blood (we’re not vampires or zombies), but we do eat bread and we do drink wine, just as Jesus and His disciples did, 2000 years ago, to remember the Lamb of God whose Body was broken and whose Blood was shed.
For the forgiveness and remission of our sin.
That we could enter into a New Covenant with a holy God.
The communion supper, one of the two major sacraments in the Christian faith, is a reminder that today, right now, our perception of the world and our understanding of its reality, can be different as we remember Christ and all He accomplished for us.
Knowing His truth, and allowing it to change our perception of the world around us is the greatest mind-altering experience any of us will ever have.
The communion meal is a foretaste of another meal that is yet to come. In this meal we will wear pure linen, the long white robe we receive in eternity. The robe of righteousness, the robe of God’s own glory. The pure, glory that is His, covering us and making us wholly pure – inside and out.
This meal is The Marriage Supper of the Lamb to His Bride – the Church. On that day we won’t be a flash mob gathering by invite only in a chic environment, we will be God’s children, of whom all are invited to gather, in a designated space that has been purposed from before the beginning of time.
Unlike the Diner en Blanc, we merely need to accept the invitation to attend. There we will be ‘up in the sky’. There we will truly experience perceptions being changed.
Remember Christ today. Remember the sacrifice He made. Remember the Last Supper. Remember the agony in the Garden. Remember the betrayal of His friends.
Remember that He did all of this for you.
You whom He loves.
All for you.
No guilt. No condemnation. Take the bread and eat of it. Take the wine and drink of it. Remember Him. Receive His love again.