Jesus and his contemporaries do not appear to have had hot coffee in their day. If they had, clearly, Jesus might have performed one or two miracles involving lattes.
No. It seems they had wine. And, in the tradition of kings, Jesus fearlessly offers more wine for guests at a wedding party (John 2). (Esther’s King Ahasuerus gives a week-long banquet for the people of Susa with an open bar and no limits on the royal wine, Esther 1:1-8.)
The Psalmist says wine “gladdens human hearts” (Ps. 104:15). And the prophet Amos tells us to hold on; life will overcome death, the time of exile will end, and God’s people will drink their wine and eat their fruit in the days to come (Amos 9:13-15).
At the Passover celebration and Last Supper, Jesus raises his glass and says, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt 26:28).
Forgiveness is poured out for us. Abundantly. Without cost to us and without limit.
I have been relishing the luxury of time these days, time spent sitting on a porch, drinking a cup of hot coffee with cream or a glass of wine. I drink it in — this gift of unbusyness. He leads me beside still waters and restores my soul.
So, Cheers. May your heart be glad. May your life have still, unbusy spaces, and may you know the abundance of the One who gives freely, without charge.
(wine photo, courtesy of L.D.)
I am enjoying a quiet, reflective Memorial Day weekend. Taking care of personal and household tasks, while watching two Ken Burns documentaries on Amazon Prime: The National Parks with its history of passionate individuals striving to preserve the natural wonder, beauty, and wildlife of the wide open spaces in America and The War (WWII) with its history of brave men, women, and children of four American towns struggling, fighting, dying, and surviving in that horrific world wide war of terror.
I am reminded — appropriately — that freedom is not free. It always comes at a great price. I am sipping my tea and enjoying tasty maple almond tea cake (low-carb and grain-free), remembering these sacrifices for my freedom and realizing that I too must sacrifice for others. We are not all free — there are battles yet to be fought for those who struggle, fight, die, and survive today.
Vacation means having no agenda or script. It is an essential break from the routine traffic patterns of our lives. It gives us a chance to see things from new perspectives, to discover new aspects of our relationships with family and friends.
As children, my siblings and I spent hours upon hours in the back seat of our Volvo station wagon, driving back and forth across the country (New York to California and back). We entertained ourselves, bickered, tickled each other, and negotiated the allocation of space repeatedly (driving our parents mad at times!). Wonderful memories!.
Here’s to summer and making space on the calendar for those unscripted, no-agenda times!!
Grace. Generous, free, totally unexpected, and undeserved. John Piper says we are to “suck it up through our roots and grow by it; that we might soak it up like sunshine through our leaves and grow by it.”
For many, myself included, it is hard comprehend that God desires for us to receive love and mercy just because–not because we have done anything to earn it, but because he is good.
“Grow in grace…” 2 Peter 3:18
It is infectious. A smile. A laugh. A look. Spread it around, and share the love!