Do you remember the California Raisins? They were these claymated guys that sang all these motown songs. They were around in the 80’s. Nobody that I know of ever much contemplated the idea that once they were California Grapes. Maybe they sang like kid’s lullaby songs or something before they dried out and grew up.
If they had ever made a commercial showing the grapes’ transition to raisins, it could’ve seemed pretty cute. Big plump grapes all sunning themselves, or something. Maybe they forget the sunscreen. Slowly, they get all shriveled and raisinish.
If the destiny of those grapes had been a little different, there’s no way you could make a cute commercial out of them.
Imagine that the California grapes were destined to become wine. Imagine that they all got smooshed together, bottled, and left to ferment. It’s not likely they’d be singing too many songs in this scenario.
Wine is something that is important in the teachings of Jesus. At his first public miracle, he turns water into wine. I have been suggesting, in these last several posts, that this represents the change he wants to make in our lives. Jesus is calling us to live more full and complete existences.
A wine-like life is not an easy one. The process of making wine itself is instructive in this regard. There is meaning to the fact that the grapes are squashed, the very deepest parts of the grapes are brought out. There is meaing to the fact that it is not internal forces alone which make wine, but also an outside, almost magical process.
Jesus was the original grape turned to wine. And he expects us to follow his example. More on this coming soon.