The Importance of the Wine that Jesus Made

So I’ve been engaged in this series of meditations.  It’s was inspired by some things that Thomas Moore wrote, and it revolves around the importance and context of Jesus first miracle: turning the water into wine.

Rather than speculating more about things that this transformation might mean, I want to conemplate some features of that passage itself.

One of the things that jumps off the page in this passage is how very embodied, and in the world, Jesus and his followers are.   They are at a wedding where– gasp– they serve alchohol.  And to make matters worse, it’s a wedding where people drank all the alchohol!

Christianity has become this disembodied thing.  There are all kinds of fall out from this perversion.  We would do well to remember that Jesus and his disciples were in the community, in the world, having a good time.   Jesus’ miracle is a creation of a physical thing.  The creation of this thing, the wine, it not only lead to others having a good time, but it saved face for the newlyweds.  Dignity and joy are important to Jesus.

And quality is, too.  Jesus wine is not just good wine– it’s great wine.  So often we Christians settle for “good enough” in the things we create.  Christian writing is often mediocre.  Christian music is often derivitive.  Christian moves are often amateurish.

This all seems wrong in a general sense in that if we’re creating for then Lord of everything, we ought to be doing better than our secular counterparts.  But the argument against mediocre art runs even deeper.  The very first public miracle is an act of excellence, an act of creating things that are better than what had come before.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

3 thoughts on “The Importance of the Wine that Jesus Made”

  1. Thanks man… It’s a little scary when that’s all you say though. If I can’t create some sort of observation, question, critique or tangent from Garret Walker, I have to start to wonder if the thoughts are that good at all.
    😉

    Like

  2. it’s more about time than interest. i’ve been working feverishly on Life Group stuff. i’m at an impass th0ugh.

    Just trying to do my best.

    Like

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