No, that’s not a misspelling. Wine, not whine!
For years, my wife and I have ventured with friends to Paso Robles for wine tasting in early November. Two hours from Fresno, Paso Robles is a terroir (as the French might explain), a particular spot near California’s central coast that boasts a distinctive soil and climate near perfect for the cultivation of grapes.
I think the first time wine surfaced in the Bible was with Noah. Yes, Noah of the flood fame, the fellow that forgot the unicorn but remembered the mosquito. Noah’s mythic story was dramatic and a tad scandalous. After the waters receded, Genesis 9:20-21 claimed that, “Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. He drank some of the wine and became drunk . . .”
Let’s all wag our judgmental fingers at Noah’s indiscretion.
But wasn’t Jesus’ first miracle turning water into wine? Ah-ha, a little vino redemption.
In the often-erotic Song of Solomon, one of the wine references could be embarrassing to read in some circles: “How sweet is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine . . .” (Song of Solomon 4:10). Please, put some parental control passwords on that Biblical terroir!
Hosea the prophet spoke for a very angry God and declared to the people of Israel, “I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees . . . “ (Hosea 2:12).
In the ways I imagine Jesus, he’d frequently end his eight-hour workdays joining others around a table. There’d be hearty laughter, deep sharing, elbows jostling and old stories told and retold. I can picture loaves of bread, most of them eaten, the crumbs scattered across the table. And wine, of course, poured early and poured often. There would always be room for another person to squeeze in when he or she unexpectedly arrived. Continue reading →