Bring on the Wine

Russ’ grandfather is a retired Baptist minister, and is very against drinking alcohol of any kind in any amount at any time.  At our wedding, he walked up to Russ’ brother, who was holding a beer bottle, and said, “You know the Bible says you shouldn’t do that”  or something similar.  And at all of the family gatherings alcohol is not permitted…except the year that Russ’ brother hosted and there was special punch in the fridge that looked exactly like the regular punch.  So at some point, Russ asked him to show us where in the Bible it says that we shouldn’t drink.  But nothing ever came of it. 

And my parents have always taught me, but not always practiced, the “in moderation” view of alcohol.

And as a pastor now, I am cautious of drinking or talking about drinking with church folk – I never really know how they’ll react.  And on facebook, my stalker feed told me that my cousin joined a group called “I need a glass of wine, or I’m going to sell my kids” and I laughed out loud and thought about joining, but then hesitated because I am friends with many a church folk.  What would they think?

And I remember giving a prospective student a tour while in seminary.  She was engaged, so I took her down to show her my apartment in the married student housing.  She saw the wine rack, and asked with a shocked look on her face, “Are the students allowed to drink here?”  Interestingly, she did not come to CTS.

And we live in SC, where until recently (like last year) there were Blue Laws…you couldn’t buy alcohol on Sundays. 

But yesterday at our presbytery edcucator Bible study, we were looking at John 2:1-11 – The Wedding at Cana.  I have always known the story and how Jesus turned the water into wine, and never understood the argument that you should NEVER EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE DRINK ALCOHOL because HELLO!  JESUS TURNED WATER INTO WINE!   But yesterday, I saw something that I hadn’t noticed before.

Read with me:  On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.  Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.   When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”  …Now standing there were six stone water-jras for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.  Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.”  And they filled them up to them brim.  He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.”  So they took it.  When the steward tasted the water water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from…the steward called for the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk.  But you have kept the good wine until now.”  Jesus did this, the first of his signs…and revealed his glory, and his disciples believed him.

So this is how I read this:

  1. Jesus appreciates good wine – providing wine that was better than the bridegroom even provided as his first wine, and
  2. Jesus gave them more wine even after the guests were drunk, 120-180 gallons of it.
  3. It was this act that revealed his glory to his disciples.

SO, why then are people so against drinking from a biblical perspective?  What support do they use?

I say, bring on the wine, or beer, or Firefly…well, maybe not the Firefly, that stuff is DANGEROUS.


3 Responses

  1. On behalf of Russ’ brother I would like to announce that he, contrary to what you might infer from above, does not rely solely on alcohol in order to enjoy social gatherings.

    His wife is another story.

  2. When have I not practiced “in moderation”?….except for your science fair project;-)

  3. Mom, I seem to remember a story about an ovesized margarita and a dicey drive home

    Margie – true, he also relies on his awesome dance moves, and I should have said that it was Russ’ sister-in-law who provided the special punch.

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