March 03, 2008

Blog Header - March 2, 2008

I was a day late on this blog header photo. It's been a busy past week and weekend.

This week's photo is of the beautiful Keswick winery in Keswick, Virginia. This vineyard is within a few miles of the church that was the subject of last week's photo. The first few times I drove past the Keswick winery I was drawn to the simple beauty of the well-cared-for vines, the repetitive pattern of the vine stakes, and the diagonal road winding back through the vineyard toward the mansion that is seen just over the hilltop.

Wine is an interesting beverage and has been the subject of one of Evangelicalism's hotspots of hypocritical actions on the part of fundamentalists and other conservative Evangelicals. God created the grape in such a way that when a grape is crushed the resulting liquid is wine. It is not grape juice, which was not even possible until 1862 when pasteurization was developed.

The skin of the grape contains yeast. The fruit of the grape contains sugar. When the grape is crushed and the yeast and the sugar mix with the oxygen in the air the liquid begins to ferment—producing wine. It seems that this is what God intended, perhaps, in a way, making this God's beverage.

But, of course, we conservative Christians like to think that we know better than God, so some of us prohibit the drinking of wine. This total abstinence stance springs from Prohibition—not from the Bible. The Bible forbids over-indulgence in wine but actually commends the drinking of wine in many places. In fact, Jesus' first miracle was the production of a world-class wine at the wedding in Cana.

Perhaps it would be better for us to accept gratefully the things God has given us rather than abstaining from them in a feeble and failure-sure effort to work our way into heaven.

Psalms 104:14-15 – You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man.

1 comment:

  1. I love the look of vineyards. Seeing lovely hills covered with rows of vines while overseas deepened my appreciation of the images Jesus uses in the New Testament.


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