Faith #MWWC31

Faith that goes forward triumphs.

I don’t know what was on the top 100 list for Wine Spectator in Biblical times, but I am certain that wine was a necessity more than a luxury for daily living, because the water could kill you.  And because wine  was so common and so daily it took on many metaphors in Religion which are as timeless as all the other stories in the Bible whatever value you subscribe to them in your own life.

Wine has positive and negative positions to play. On the positive side wine was a symbol of divine grace, intimate love.  Owning a vineyard was a symbol of being one of the chosen people. Wine was a blessing as early as Genesis 14:18.  The being of the Messianic age will be a time when god’s people will “plant vineyards and drink wine”.

On the negative side drinking wine to the “dregs” and getting drunk was a symbol of God’s wrath, and Jesus refers to this same cup which he himself will have to drink from.  The winepress is also a symbol of judgement where the wicked are crushed. Wine was a”mocker” and a “brawler” and a way for the unwise to be lead astray.  But it is also represents joy, celebration, and a way of expressing abundant blessings from God.

Okay, how do we reconcile these two points of view?  FAITH!

When correctly read the Bible and most other religious books are pretty simple.  They are a prescription for  a happy life.  Easy to follow and if you believe what you read (HAVING FAITH)is  inflatable!  Here’s the prescription; read this book, follow the rules, trust me, you’ll have an abundant life, don’t follow the rules don’t listen to me and you’ll have a hang over the likes you have never experienced before.  I defy anyone to prove me wrong on this.

Let me give you an example;  At the wedding in Canaan, Jesus turned water into wine, not just wine, but good wine.   What was required?  Faith!  He made a great wine, the right amount for the number of people in attendance to enjoy themselves, no one lost control, no reports of anyone being poured onto a donkey and set home in disgrace.

Let me give you another example: Isaiah 5:11-13  Ah, you who rise early in the morning in pursuit of strong drink, who linger in the evening to be inflamed by wine, whose feast consist of lyre, harp, tambourine and flute and wine, but who do not regard the deeds of the Lord or see the works of his hands.  What’s at fault here the wine or not regarding the deeds of the Lord?  Not to mention putting wine on you cheeros.  Were they following the prescription? Nah.

Here’s the prescription “ Blessed are thou, Lord our God, King of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine. I think it would be hard to abuse wine if you kept this in mind when you drink.

John 15:1-5 I am the true vine and my father is the winegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit.  Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides by the vine.  It’s all about respecting the doctor’s prescription.

Up until now we have been talking theory.  As we all know to “have faith” we have to stand up, gird up our loins, walk out of the temple and go do something. James 2:14-26  “faith without works is dead”.  

Enter the farmer.  And for all the glory of being a vintner entails, in the end they are still just farmers, or rely very heavily on farmers.  Like the song says, “they plow the fields and scatter the good seeds on the land, but it is feed a water by God’s almighty hand”.  Yes, we have come a long way in the science of agriculture and viniculture, but we are still at the mercy of terroir.  Every vintage is a leap of faith.

Now maybe I’m getting a bit too biblical and preachy.  I apologize.  Let me try this “Great wine requires a madman to grow the wine, a wise man to watch over it, a poet to make it, and a lover to drink it”.  Salvador Dali

Each of those examples are parts of having faith.   Madness is a good way describe the condition of a person who absolutely believes in something they can’t see or touch, but know in their heart is true. You have to have deep wisdom to stick with what you believe with only flashes of evidence you are heading in the right direction.  Only a poet could describe what it is you are trying to do and for what reason.  It takes Love to appreciate all  of it.

Am I stretching things to  make a point?  I don’t think so.  Wine has always been associated with the sacred.  Faith is many things to many people, even to be a scientist you have to have faith.

From bread and wine, we got faith and generosity, and those are good things to ponder over a glass of wine.

A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, great faith will bring heaven to your soul!Charles H. Spurgeon

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